Antibiotic resistance information exchanges : interim guidance
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Antibiotic resistance information exchanges : interim guidance

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    Antibiotic resistance (AR) is a major clinical and public health threat with potential to unravel more than half a century of human health advances offered by modern medical care. Unfortunately, modern healthcare delivery is notably contributory to the spread of antibiotic-resistant organisms, as patients who have become colonized with resistant organisms often receive care across multiple healthcare settings (e.g., ambulatory care, acute care hospitals (ACHs), and various long-term care (LTC) settings, including long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs) and skilled nursing facilities (SNFs)).

    Although the threat of antibiotic-resistant organism transmission from a colonized patient to physically proximate patients remains for the duration of colonization, the lack of information sharing between healthcare facilities often results in the colonized status of a patient being unknown to a receiving or admitting facility. When this occurs, the appropriate infection control precautions are less likely to be used from the start of patient care, which increases the likelihood that resistant organisms will spread to other patients.

    The need for improved AR situational awareness is a major challenge to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) strategy to contain the most threatening forms of resistance and the genes responsible for such phenotypes. To fulfill their central role in implementing the CDC’s containment strategy, some state health departments have developed systems (Multidrug-Resistant Organism (MDRO) Registries or MDRO Alert Systems, referred to herein as AR Information Exchanges (ARIEs)) that track patients previously colonized or infected with specific MDROs and then alert healthcare providers when these patients are admitted to a facility. The term AR Information Exchange emphasizes the importance of multidirectional information flow amongst healthcare facilities and public health authorities, as opposed to unidirectional data collection and storage.

    This interim guidance is intended for operational use by individuals and organizations responsible for developing or enhancing an ARIE; however, it does not constitute legal advice. Public health agencies should follow applicable laws, statues, and/or regulations when developing ARIEs with questions about directed to the entity’s legal counsel.

    CS 324851-A


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