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CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 29, 2015 – On June 2, Carolinas HealthCare System will join a select group of organizations, companies and associations invited to the White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship. The Forum will engage top leaders from a range of industries – including healthcare, diagnostics, and food – in conversation about ways to leverage their industry expertise to more aggressively combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria at the national level.
“Carolinas HealthCare System is excited to contribute to this larger conversation on preventing and combatting the overuse of antibiotics, both in healthcare and other settings,” said James C. Hunter, MD, chief medical officer for the System, who will attend the Forum. “We are proud of the work we are already doing in this area and applaud the White House for placing additional emphasis on this important topic.”
Since 2009, Carolinas HealthCare System has actively worked toward reducing the overuse of antibiotics, one of the single most important factors leading to antibiotic resistance. Efforts are led by the System’s Antimicrobial Support Network (ASN), a stewardship program that helps healthcare providers make better decisions for the selection, dosage and duration of antimicrobial treatments for patients. Last year, the program was supported by the Leading Edge Advanced Practice Topics contract by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Stewardship programs improve patient outcomes and reduce rates of hospital-acquired and other infections. They also decrease patient length of stay and rates of antimicrobial use. Carolinas HealthCare System hospitals participating in the ASN continue to see patient safety and cost improvements from more diligent use of antibiotics. To date, they have decreased their use of antibiotics by up to 20 to 30 percent, keeping patients on antibiotics fewer days and reducing cost of antimicrobials by more than 12 percent.
Over the past year, White House Administration has taken important steps to address the threat of antibiotic resistance. In September 2014, President Obama issued an executive order on this topic and, in March 2015, the Administration released the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, which outlines “a whole-of-government approach over the next five years targeted at addressing this threat.”
The press portion of the June 2 Forum will be available via live stream from 8-9:15 a.m. on the White House website.
Carolinas HealthCare System (carolinashealthcare.org), one of the nation’s leading and most innovative healthcare organizations, provides a full spectrum of healthcare and wellness programs throughout North and South Carolina. Its diverse network of care locations includes academic medical centers, hospitals, freestanding emergency departments, physician practices, surgical and rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, nursing homes and behavioral health centers, as well as hospice and palliative care services. Carolinas HealthCare System works to enhance the overall health and wellbeing of its communities through high quality patient care, education and research programs, and numerous collaborative partnerships and initiatives.