2020 National Healthcare Safety Network antimicrobial use option report
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2020 National Healthcare Safety Network antimicrobial use option report

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      Monitoring antimicrobial use (AU) is an important component of antibiotic stewardship programs (ASPs). AU data delivered to ASPs enable stewards to develop, select, and assess interventions aimed at optimizing antimicrobial prescribing. These interventions, in turn, serve to improve antimicrobial treatment effectiveness, protect patients from harms caused by unnecessary antimicrobial exposure, and curb antimicrobial resistance associated with prophylactic and therapeutic excess.

      The benefits of monitoring AU for patient care and public health are most likely to be achieved when data collection and analysis are systematic and standardized. Leveraging electronic medication administration records and automating AU data submissions from hospitals reduces reporting burden and facilitates reuse of AU data. These AU surveillance principles and practices are fundamental to CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) AU Option. Hospitals submit AU data electronically to NHSN, where the data are aggregated, analyzed, and used to produce inpatient AU benchmarks. The Standardized Antimicrobial Administration Ratio (SAAR) is NHSN’s risk-adjusted AU metric, available to hospitals reporting to NHSN’s AU Option from select patient care locations.

      The 2020 NHSN AU Option Report (2020 AU Report) provides a summary of SAAR distributions and percentages of use within the SAAR antimicrobial agent categories in adult, pediatric, and neonatal patient care locations (specified below). The report includes data from acute care hospitals reporting at least 9 months of data in 2020 from SAAR locations—1,467 hospitals reporting eligible adult SAAR locations, 305 reporting pediatric SAAR locations, and 544 reporting neonatal SAAR locations. The SAAR distributions can help inform stewardship efforts by enabling hospitals to see how their SAARs compare to the national distribution. Facilities can use the distributions as one of the considerations to set facilityspecific SAAR target goals. The percentage of AU by class and drug within a SAAR antimicrobial agent category provides insight into prescribing practices across differing patient locations such as medical critical care units (ICUs) compared to medical wards. Facilities may evaluate these usage patterns in context of their local treatment guidelines, antimicrobial resistance rates, and formulary.

      Suggested citation: CDC. 2020 National Healthcare Safety Network Antimicrobial Use Option Report. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2021. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nhsn/pdfs/datastat/2020-au-report-508.pdf


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