Presidential Proclamation Marks Get Smart About Antibiotics Week Nov. 16-22, More than 120 Partners Join to Fight Antibiotic Resistance

Posted on by CDC's Safe Healthcare Blog

Backed by a Presidential Proclamation, Get Smart About Antibiotics Week—which kicked off today—aims to raise awareness about the threat of antibiotic resistance and improve appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use.

Antibiotic resistance—when germs no longer respond to the drugs designed to kill them—threatens to take us back to the days when minor infections could kill. The use of antibiotics is the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance around the world.

CDC estimates that each year two million Americans get an infection with an antibiotic-resistant germ and, every year, 23,000 of those patients die. New CDC maps also show that 50% of all antibiotics prescribed in U.S. health provider offices are unnecessary or inappropriate, and less than half of U.S. hospitals have adopted all of CDC’s Core Elements to antibiotic stewardship programs (the national goal is 100% by 2020).
CDC has made combating antibiotic resistance a top priority and is partnering with public and private industry to overcome the challenge. (See commitments from more than 120 organizations who have pledged to preserve the power of antibiotics.) CDC is the lead government agency responsible for antibiotic stewardship: using these life-saving drugs only in ways that protect the effectiveness of antibiotic use in people.

State health departments, non-profit partners, industry partners, healthcare workers, parents—everyone has an important part to play in Get Smart Week and the fight against antibiotic resistance.

Examples of Get Smart Week activities and stewardship commitments reported to CDC include:

  • Ascension launches stewardship initiative: Ascension is creating outstanding stewardship programs throughout its care sites. A new Center of Excellence will focus on antimicrobial stewardship efforts system-wide.
  • Hospital Corporation of America (HCA): Joined with CDC to track antibiotic prescriptions in HCA facilities by automatically collecting and reporting monthly antibiotic-use data using CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network – which can be analyzed and fed back to caregivers as evidence for making the best patient-care decisions.
  • Premier commits to reducing antibiotic resistance:  First launch of a collaborative of more than 50 hospitals working to implement CDC Core Elements of an Antibiotic Stewardship Programs as well as reducing the overuse of specific antimicrobials that were identified in research conducted by Premier and in collaboration with the CDC.
  • Walmart public service announcement (PSA) on appropriate antibiotic use: Walmart created educational videos for checkout lines across the country. Customers get clear information on antibiotic resistance and what they can do to improve antibiotic use.
  • Major airlines run in-flight PSA: State health departments such as the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services have led the way in partnering to improve educational awareness about antibiotic stewardship. An in-flight PSA about antibiotic stewardship, produced by the Michigan Antibiotic Resistance Reduction (MARR) Coalition, is now featured on Jet Blue and other airlines.
  • The Pew Charitable Trust briefing on Capitol Hill featuring supermoms: A PEW coalition of “Supermoms against Superbugs” will join the Pew Charitable Trust and CDC Director Dr. Frieden at a Capitol Hill Briefing on November 18, 2015. Pew is also partnering with CDC to establish national targets to improve the use of antibiotics in support of the goals outlined in the National Action Plan on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.
  • Consumer Reports: CDC is partnering with Consumer Reports on the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation’s Choosing Wisely campaign.
  • Community Antibiotic Prescribing Rate by State
    Community Antibiotic Prescribing Rate by State
    U.S. State Department toolkit: The State Department is piloting a toolkit for use by 10 U.S. Embassies with a focus on improving antibiotic use.
  • Society of Hospital Medicine’s Educational Campaign for Hospitalists: This antibiotic stewardship campaign targets hospitalists – the doctors who care for hospitalized patients – a pivotal group for improving antibiotic use in hospitals.
  • Global Twitter Chat: Hosted by the European Union’s Antibiotic Awareness Day (November 18, 2015), the 24-hour chat will use the hashtag #AntibioticResistance and unite CDC experts and partners in a global conversation about antibiotic resistance. CDC experts will lead the conversation from 2-4 p.m. ET. 
  • The latest U.S. antibiotic prescribing rate map: While overuse of antibiotics is happening in every state across the country, community antibiotic prescribing rates in some states are two times greater than in other states, suggesting opportunities for improvement.
  • The percentage of hospitals with antibiotic stewardship programs by state
    Percent of hospitals with antibiotic stewardship programs by state
    U.S. hospital stewardship programs map: The percentage of hospitals with antibiotic stewardship programs varies from state to state from a low of 7 percent to a high of 58 percent. The national goal is for 100% of all U.S. hospitals to have antibiotic stewardship programs by 2020.

It’s Not Too Late! Join Get Smart Week 2015 Now
This week, join CDC and its partners to raise awareness about the threat of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use by:

  • Use #GetSmartWeek: Show off your activities by using the hashtag in your social media posts throughout the week.
  • Join the global Twitter chat on Wednesday, Nov. 18 from 2-4 p.m. EST: Participate with #AntibioticResistance. Follow @CDCgov and @DrFriedenCDC.
  • Share our new educational factsheets! Post the factsheets about proper antibiotic use and prescribing to your websites, share on social media, or print for your audiences. Find them here.
  • Commit to antibiotic stewardship: Join other leaders and tell us how your organization is improving antibiotic use and prescribing. Learn more here.
  • Become an official Get Smart Week partner: Email
  • Participate in other international activities: Learn about WHO’s first World Antibiotic Awareness Week and the European Antibiotic Awareness Day (Nov. 18).
  • Keep track! Make note of your activities and who you engage with throughout the week so that we can measure our global impact!

For more information about Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, visit:

Posted on by CDC's Safe Healthcare Blog

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Page last reviewed: November 18, 2016
Page last updated: November 18, 2016