CDC launches antibiotic tracking system in hospitals

"Antibiotic use leads to antibiotic resistance, which is a major public health problem," CDC Director Thomas Frieden said in a statement. "Hospitals and other healthcare facilities should monitor the antibiotics used in their facilities. This new system is a powerful tool that will enhance providers' ability to monitor and improve patterns of antibiotic use so that these essential drugs will still be effective in the years to come."

The new antibiotic-use tracking system is part of the CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network, which monitors infections in more than 4,800 hospitals. CDC is funding the tracking system in 70 hospitals; other facilities that participate in the National Healthcare Safety Network can electronically transmit antibiotic data through their pharmacy software vendor.