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Health Agencies Update
December 28, 2011

Antibiotic Use Tracking

JAMA. 2011;306(24):2661. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1867

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is launching a new surveillance system to track antibiotic use in hospitals. This tool, which will be part of its National Healthcare Safety Network, will augment a system the CDC already has in place to track antibiotic use in outpatient settings.

The agency has provided funding to 4 health departments that are working with academic institutions to establish the new tracking system in 70 hospitals. Hospitals that are already participating in the safety network can also use the system; when set up, the new system will automatically transfer drug administration data and bar code records into the tracking system. The CDC said that the system will allow hospitals to compare their antibiotic use with that of other facilities and provide data to help promote more judicious use.