Last week, the White House published a National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria and President Obama signed an executive order that orders the implementation of the strategy. The report covers a lot of information, but two goals stuck out as being especially pertinent for laboratory professionals.
- 95 percent of hospitals report data on their antibiotic use to the CDC
- create regional laboratory networks for testing resistant bacteria and make the data publicly, electronically, available.
Both of these goals require the cooperation of clinical laboratories including (but certainly not limited to) infrastructure upgrades, data collection, and procedural changes. In an era when laboratories have less resources than ever before, will this stretch microbiology departments too far? Based on available resources, are these goals attainable?
If you’d like a comprehensive overview of the government’s strategy, check out Maryn McKenna’s excellent post on Wired’s Superbug blog.
–Kelly Swails, MT(ASCP), is a laboratory professional, recovering microbiologist, and web editor for Lab Medicine.