Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, known as “superbugs,” are growing and becoming a major public health threat. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 30 percent of antibiotics used in the United States are either inappropriate or unnecessary. If we continue on the same trajectory we are on today, an estimated 10 million people around the globe will die annually from resistant infections by 2050.
Fortunately, health care providers in Washington State and this region and are working together to fight antibiotic resistance. Through collaboration, data sharing and improving antimicrobial stewardship programs, there has been a 7 percent reduction in overall use of five major classes of antibiotics. Additionally, there has been a 26 percent reduction in carbapenem utilization and a 25 percent reduction in fluoroquinolone utilization.
This data is from an overwhelming response of hospitals, with more than 75 percent of hospitals across the region — in a Partnership for Patients Hospital Improvement Innovation Network — sharing their antimicrobial utilization data. With dedicated and collaborative spirits, this region will continue to be a forward-thinking leader in curbing antibiotic resistance to make our local and global community a safer place. For more information, visit the WSHA Antimicrobial Stewardship webpage. (Meg Kilcup)