James Hunter, MD chief medical officer for Carolinas HealthCare System

The prevention and reduction of infections are part of Carolinas HealthCare System’s commitment to providing the safest environment possible for patients and teammates. The System continually implements strategies based on best practices and clinical guidelines to decrease the risk of infection caused by multidrug-resistant organisms, specifically of a so-called “superbug,” CRE.

“The presence of CRE infections in healthcare is an ongoing national challenge, but we have been well aware of CRE and have always taken aggressive steps to address any cases that arise,” said James C. Hunter, MD, chief medical officer for Carolinas HealthCare System.

“Patients with CRE infections are typically very ill and have many health complications. To protect these patients, our visitors and our teammates, we use procedures and protocols that go above and beyond industry standards,” Dr. Hunter said.

Carolinas HealthCare System’s efforts to prevent CRE infections include:

  • Placing any patients with CRE in isolation, requiring all who enter the room to wear gowns and gloves and to practice rigorous hand hygiene.
  • Using equipment in the room that is dedicated to patients with CRE.
  • Performing room cleanings on a daily basis.

The System also has enhanced its high-level disinfection process for cleaning duodenoscopes, the equipment tied to the recent CRE infections at UCLA Medical Center. All duodenoscopes tested across the System have shown to be negative for CRE. Though there are cases of CRE at our facilities – many brought by patients when they are admitted to our hospitals – Carolinas HealthCare System does not have an outbreak of this infection.

CRE is highly resistant to antibiotics and a result of overuse of antibiotics – identified by the White House as a key healthcare issue facing the country. Carolinas HealthCare System is actively addressing this issue through the Antimicrobial Support Network, which provides the best possible clinical outcomes for treatment and prevention of drug-resistant organisms while minimizing antimicrobial resistance.

To better understand CRE and to help answer questions that patients or community members might have, please see our list of Frequently Asked Questions.