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Antimicrobial resistance is a growing clinical and public health crisis. Experts have recommended measures to monitor antimicrobial resistance; however, little is known regarding their use.
We describe the use of procedures to detect and report antimicrobial resistance in U.S. hospitals and the organizational and epidemiologic factors associated with their use.
In 2001, we surveyed laboratory directors (n = 108) from a random national sample of hospitals. We studied five procedures to monitor antimicrobial resistance: (1) disseminating antibiograms to physicians at least annually, (2) notifying physicians of antimicrobial-resistant infections, (3) reporting susceptibility results within 24 hours, (4) using automated testing procedures, and (5) offering molecular typing. Explanatory variables included organizational characteristics and patterns of antimicrobial resistance for oxacillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant enterococci, quinolone-resistant Escherichia coli, and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Klebsiella species. Generalized estimating equations accounting for the correlation among outcomes at the facility level were used to identify predictors of the five outcomes.
Use of the procedures ranged from 85% (automated testing) to 33% (offering molecular typing) and was related to teaching hospital status (OR, 3.1; CI95, 1.5–6.5), participation of laboratory directors on the infection control committee (OR, 1.7; CI95, 1.1–2.8), and having at least one antimicrobial-resistant pathogen with a prevalence greater than 10% (OR, 2.2; CI95, 1.4–3.3).
U.S. hospitals underutilize procedures to monitor the spread of antimicrobial resistance. Use of these procedures varies and is related to organizational and epidemiologic factors. Further efforts are needed to increase their use by hospitals.
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