Combating antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
As an infection preventionist, I take healthcare-acquired infections (HAI) personally. My drive to eradicate HAIs has been challenged in a myriad of settings—public health, clinical research, nongovernment organizations (NGOs), hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, private practices, long-term care and ambulatory surgery centers. Yet regardless of the location, the solutions to prevent the spread of HAIs are almost always the same: Hand hygiene. Cleaning and disinfection. Best practice bundles for patient care. Antimicrobial stewardship. None of these things can function without the other. You can’t eliminate the spread of AMR through judicious use of antibiotics if the nurse giving them to the patient hasn’t washed his hands. You can’t depend upon sophisticated environmental cleaning and disinfection in the operating room if a surgical patient hasn’t had her skin cleaned and prepped prior to surgery. I am struck by the thought that the world’s increasing antimicrobial resistance problem is unnecessary. It is a phenomenon that we created and thus, we must be responsible for its elimination. Because all of us need to be resistance fighters.