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Group of 24 children's hospitals join CDC for Get Smart About Antibiotics Week

Children's Mercy will be part of Nov. 18 Twitter chat to raise awareness of antibiotic resistance

Kansas City, Mo. - Nov. 11, 2014 - Each year more than two million people in the United States get infections that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die as a result. To help raise awareness of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use, a collaboration of more than 20 children's hospitals - known as SHARPS - will participate in Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, Nov. 17-23, 2014. Infections caused by resistant bacteria have become more common - and many bacteria have become resistant to multiple antibiotics - so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created Get Smart Week to help educate the public.

As part of Get Smart Week, CDC will host an antibiotic resistance themed Twitter chat on Tuesday, Nov. 18, from 3-4 pm ET, using the hashtag #SaveAbx. Dr. Jason Newland, Medical Director of Patient Safety and Systems Reliability at Children's Mercy Kansas City, will participate from the @ChildrensMercy and @SHARPSgroup accounts. Journalists, parents, health organizations and other hospitals are encouraged to join the discussion by following @CDC_eHealth, @CDC_NCEZID and @ChildrensMercy and including #SaveAbx in their tweets.

Several countries will also participate in a 24-hour global antibiotic resistance themed Twitter chat, using #AntibioticDay as the hashtag. To help everyone take part in Get Smart Week, CDC has put together a digital press kit, filled with quotes, images, and related resources on antibiotic resistance. View DPK

In 2013, the seven original members of the SHARPS project (Sharing Antimicrobial Reports for Pediatric Stewardship) received nearly $700,000 from The Joint Commission and Pfizer Independent Grants for Learning and Change (IGLC) to improve pediatric antimicrobial stewardship - a focus on establishing best practices for the use of antimicrobials among hospitalized children. The group has grown to include 24 top children's hospitals from around the nation.

"These hospitals use data to target areas for improvement, and then use the same data to monitor the impact after implementation of antibiotic stewardship strategies," said Dr. Newland. "The participating hospitals share ideas and provide mutual support, bringing our learnings to a much broader audience."

The first seven hospitals in SHARPS included Children's Mercy Kansas City, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Primary Children's Medical Center in Utah, Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Children's Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, Seattle Children's Hospital. Additionally, the Children's Hospital Association supports the project through statistical help as the hospitals use the Pediatric Health Information Systems database.