Healthcare Settings

About Healthcare Settings and Antibiotic Resistance

In healthcare settings, inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics and lack of infection control actions can contribute to drug resistance. For example, people receiving medical care can get serious infections called healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), which can lead to sepsis or death. Many HAIs are caused by the most urgent and serious antibiotic-resistant threats. The germs causing these deadly infections can spread between patients and inside of and between health care facilities when patients are transferred from one health care facility to another without appropriate actions to stop spread. HAIs are a preventable threat to patient safety. Progress has been made, but more work is needed to prevent infections and their spread, and to improve antibiotic use.

What CDC is Doing

CDC is working to detect, respond, contain, and prevent resistant healthcare-associated infections by, for example:

  • Implementing targeted, coordinated strategies so that healthcare facilities and public health work together to better prevent infections and stop spread
  • Tracking resistance and infections in human health to monitor resistance and guide prevention efforts
  • Detecting antibiotic resistance by providing gold-standard laboratory methods and isolates that support development of new diagnostics and more treatment options
  • Increasing capacity in state and local health departments to detect, respond to, and contain outbreaks and emerging resistance
  • Providing education and guidance to improve infection prevention and control
  • Working towards national goals to improve antibiotic use
  • Increasing public awareness to prevent sepsis and its complications
  • Implementing effective stewardship programs using CDC’s Core Elements and recommendations, integrated with sepsis early recognition programs
  • Providing data about antibiotic use and trends to better understand prescribing practices

This work complements additional CDC antibiotic resistance investments, collectively known as CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance (AR) Solutions Initiative. Through these investments, CDC is transforming how the nation combats and slows antibiotic resistance at all levels.

Fact Sheets

Find more AR Solutions Initiative materials on the Fact Sheets and Graphics webpage.