CDC launches new antibiotic tracking system

December 1, 2011

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently launched a new antibiotic tracking system, allowing hospitals to monitor their antibiotic use electronically.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently launched a new antibiotic tracking system, allowing hospitals to monitor their antibiotic use electronically.

Previously, the CDC was only able to track antibiotic use in doctors’ offices. Hospitals that participate in the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network can utilize this tool by working directly with its pharmacy software vendors to transmit data electronically from drug administration or bar-coding records. In this case, there is no manual entry of data.

“Hospitals and other healthcare facilities should monitor the antibiotics used in their facilities. This new system is a powerful tool that will enhance providers’ ability to monitor and improve patterns of antibiotic use so that these essential drugs will still be effective in the years to come,” said CDC Director Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH.

While physicians have significantly improved unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics, up to half of antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary, according to the CDC. To that end, the CDC also partnered with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to pilot test a tool to help hospitals implement practical strategies to improve antibiotic use. The pilot testing is underway in 8 U.S. hospitals.

To access a list of pharmacy software vendors who are working with CDC’s new antibiotic use tracking system, visit the Society for Infectious Disease Pharmacists website at www.sidp.org.