Tracking drugs on the web

CDC implements new system to monitor use of antibiotics

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hope to better manage use of antibiotics in hospitals through a new electronic tracking system.

The overuse of antibiotics during treatment of viral infections can lead to drug-resistant illnesses for which there are limited treatment options, according to the online science magazine Red Orbit. The new monitoring system is part of CDC’s web-based National Healthcare Safety Network, which tracks infections through data from more than 4,800 hospitals.

“Although previously unthinkable, the day when antibiotics don’t work in all situations is upon us,” said Dr. Arjun Srinivasan, who heads the CDC’s Get Smart for Healthcare program. “We are already seeing germs that are stronger than any antibiotics we have to treat them, including some infections in health-care settings.”