ARLINGTON, Va. (September 22) — The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) welcomes President Obama’s Executive Order released last week. The order creates a National Strategy to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria and announced of a $20 million prize to facilitate the development of rapid, point-of-care diagnostic tests to identify highly resistant bacteria sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and the Food and Drug Administration. SHEA believes there is no greater threat to modern medicine than losing the effectiveness of antibiotics.
“The Administration’s national coordinated strategy is an excellent step forward and will help to improve patient care and to preserve our ability to fight infections,” said Daniel Diekema, MD, president, SHEA Board of Trustees. “We’re encouraged to see the President acting on this issue of national security before it is too late.”
The President’s strategy addresses many points SHEA outlined in a joint policy statement issued in 2012. In the policy statement, SHEA advocated for antimicrobial stewardship programs to be required through regulatory mechanisms and for additional research on antimicrobial stewardship including rapid, point-of care diagnostic tests so that antimicrobials may be avoided when a viral etiology is identified. SHEA also called for federal agencies such as CDC, AHRQ, FDA, and NIH to receive adequate appropriations to fund these efforts.
While the importance of addressing antimicrobial resistance through expanded surveillance, rapid diagnostics, developing new antibiotics, and stewardship programs cannot be overstated, SHEA urges healthcare facilities to combine these strategies with strong infection prevention measures. This multifaceted approach is necessary to prevent, detect, and control the emergence of antimicrobial resistant organisms around the world.
SHEA looks forward to continuing the dialogue on this critical issue.
SHEA is a global professional society representing more than 2,000 physicians and other healthcare professionals with expertise and passion for healthcare epidemiology and infection prevention to improve patient care in all healthcare settings. SHEA's mission is to prevent and control healthcare-associated infections and advance the field of healthcare epidemiology. The society advances its mission through advocacy, science and research, expert guidelines and guidance on key issues, the exchange of knowledge, and high-quality education. SHEA focuses resources on promoting antimicrobial stewardship, ensuring a safe healthcare environment, encouraging transparency in public reporting related to HAIs, focused efforts on prevention and more. Visit SHEA online at www.shea-online.org, www.facebook.com/SHEApreventingHAIs and @SHEA_Epi.