"For years the Illinois Department of Public Health has been
tracking superbugs like MRSA (methicillin-resistant
Staphylococcus aureus) and C. difficile (Clostridium
difficile) and helping hospitals and nursing homes prevent the
spread of these bacteria," said Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, IDPH director.
"Now, in addition to stopping the spread of superbugs, IDPH is
working with facilities to prevent the misuse and overuse of
antibiotics, which contribute to antibiotic resistance and the
increase of deadly superbugs."
MRSA, C. difficile and CRE (carbapenem-resistant
Enterobacteriaceae) are bacterial infections most commonly
found among hospital patients and nursing home residents. Up to 50
percent of antibiotics prescribed in acute-care hospitals and up to
75 percent of antibiotics prescribed in long-term care facilities
are unnecessary or inappropriate.
IDPH is at the forefront of promoting appropriate antibiotic use
across health care settings. Efforts last year included:
Illinois hospitals in developing an electronic means to report
hospital antibiotic use data as part of a CDC pilot project, and
continuing to work with some of those hospitals to identify
areas of misuse and quality improvement.
statewide summit to engage hospitals, long-term care facilities
and other health care professionals in talking about how to
promote judicious antibiotic use.
Illinois long-term care facilities were doing to improve
prescribing and use of antibiotics and identifying what
challenges they face.
In partnership with the state's Quality
Improvement Organization, hosting monthly webinars for health
care professionals, with topics focused on antibiotic use and
prevention of health care-associated infections.
When it comes to health care-associated infections, CRE are of
particular concern due to their resistance to "last-resort"
antibiotics and their ability to transfer this resistance to other
bacteria. To combat this, IDPH is launching a statewide "CRE Detect
and Protect" education campaign to prevent CRE infections. IDPH will
work with hospitals, long-term care facilities and laboratories to
adopt the CDC strategy of detecting CRE and protecting patients
through appropriate infection control and prevention measures.
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A statewide CRE Task Force comprised of infectious disease
experts and created to help guide and provide input on IDPH's
efforts held its first call earlier this month.
"The CRE Task Force was convened to decrease CRE in Illinois
health care facilities across the spectrum of care. This statewide
initiative is a collaboration of public health professionals,
infection preventionists, academicians, microbiologists and
informaticians to devise reasonable and effective interventions to
track and mitigate the spread of these difficult-to-treat
infections," said Dr. Stephanie Black, medical director of the
communicable disease program of the Chicago Department of Public
Beginning in November 2013, IDPH required health care facilities
and laboratories to report CRE to the Extensively Drug-Resistant
Organism Registry. The registry aims to improve statewide tracking
of CRE and communication between facilities during patient
More information about health care-associated infections and
antibiotic resistance is available at
Providing health guidance and information to health professionals
and the public aligns IDPH with its five-year strategy to become the
state's trusted public health authority, a place where Illinoisans
can turn for health information and education. For a copy of the
department's 2014-2018 strategic plan,
click here (PDF).
Illinois Department of Public
Health file received from the
Illinois Office of Communication and Information]