Clorox Healthcare and the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics (APUA) announced a new partnership to educate the healthcare community on comprehensive infection control practices to help reduce the spread of infection in healthcare facilities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that drug-resistant bacteria cause two million illnesses and approximately 23,000 deaths each year in the United States alone. Mathematical modeling included in its latest Vital Signs report shows that the spread of drug-resistant infections and Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) will increase without immediate improvements in infection control and antibiotic prescribing. The report also states that if improved infection control practices and antibiotic stewardship efforts were adopted nationally, 619,000 infections and 37,000 deaths could be prevented over five years.
Clorox Healthcare and APUA share the belief that when armed with the right tools and information, infectious diseases physicians in collaboration with other front-line healthcare providers and environmental services professionals can improve infection prevention practices to kill antibiotic-resistant organisms before infections can spread, protecting patients, staff and communities. The aim of this partnership is to jointly develop educational resources and materials that align with the following goals:
·         Increase awareness of antibiotic resistance.
·         Prevent infections to prevent the spread of resistance.
“Ours is a natural alliance because strengthening health systems and clinical practice by cleaning, disinfection and process compliance reduces or prevents transmission of resistant bacteria. These are strategies that APUA champions globally and Clorox Healthcare helps realize,” said Stuart B. Levy, MD, President of APUA.
Preventing the spread of resistant bacteria is a critical step in preventing infections from occurring and helps to preserve the efficacy of existing antibiotics by reducing the amount of antibiotics that have to be used and the likelihood that resistance will develop during therapy. Environmental hygiene plays a vital role as part of a horizontal approach to infection prevention and control and is especially important when it comes to resistant pathogens like C. difficile, MRSA and VRE.
Antibiotic-resistant and nonresistant bacteria have the same level of susceptibility to surface disinfectants approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The likelihood of bacteria developing resistance to surface disinfectants such as bleach is low due to their rapid kill times. For this reason, facilities are increasingly coupling antibiotic stewardship initiatives with comprehensive environmental cleaning and disinfection programs. The preliminary results of one such program, implemented by the Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey, demonstrated a nearly 40 percent decrease in C. difficile rates in 2014, compared with the previous year.
“APUA’s expertise and research interests focused on documenting and controlling bacterial infections through improved surveillance, antibiotic stewardship and infection control align closely with Clorox Healthcare’s mission to help fight the spread of infection in healthcare facilities,” said Rosie Lyles, MD, MHA, MSc, Head of Clinical Affairs for Clorox Healthcare. “Through this partnership Clorox Healthcare and APUA will work together to raise awareness of this important issue and strengthen educational programs that inform best practices in infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship.”
The National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
Detecting, preventing and controlling antibiotic resistance and preventing the spread of resistant infections requires coordinated efforts, which is why both Clorox Healthcare and APUA were among the more than 150 stakeholders who participated in the recent White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship, to help support implementation of the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.
The June 2 event brought together diverse stakeholders to discuss how to implement changes to slow the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, detect resistant strains, preserve the efficacy of existing antibiotics and prevent the spread of resistant infections.