Combatting Multi-Drug Resistance in Nursing Homes – Per the CDC

Angie Szumlinski Health, Studies

“Multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs) do not discriminate, they spread in all health care settings. From our unique vantage point at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we are witnessing the emergence of novel MDROs across the country, which are causing life-threatening infections with limited to no available treatments.

Public health efforts to detect and contain these pathogens have revealed the significant role nursing homes, especially those caring for a medically complex, higher-acuity resident population are playing in the regional spread of these dangerous pathogens. Although all health care facilities must be prepared to prevent transmission of MDROs, nursing homes face unique challenges in caring for colonized residents. However, these are challenges that can be overcome with a renewed focus on and investment in infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship to protect the older Americans receiving care in these facilities.”

-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This is no surprise to any of us providing care in post-acute and/or long-term care settings. The question is what can we do? The first step is to recognize that the risks our residents face today are more serious and scary than ever before and that the silent spread of MDROs even without the immediate onset of symptomatic infections poses significant harm to our residents. Of course, we all want what is best for our residents and any efforts we can initiate to prevent MDROs will benefit everyone. Making infection prevention a priority at all levels of the organization, from the administrator and clinical leadership team to the front-line certified nursing assistants, housekeeping, etc. will help move the needle faster than placing the responsibility on a single infection preventionist. Click here to read the CDC’s article in its entirety.