Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria In Washington

Reducing and Preventing Resistance

The Washington State Department of Health works to reduce and prevent antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. We support the National Action Plan to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. Our strategies include:

  • DETECT -- Perform surveillance for high profile resistant organisms such as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), and increase laboratory capacity to identify these organisms
  • PROTECT - Improve reporting and communication regarding resistant bacteria, and infection control to protect patients
  • PREVENT -- Promote antimicrobial stewardship and immunization
  • INNOVATE -- Develop new diagnostic tests
  • COLLABORATE -- Collaborate with other groups at the local, state, and national level, using a One Health perspective on the interrelation between bacterial resistance in humans, animals and the environment

Working together across the state

Many organizations across the state are coming together to work on combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Read an open letter on the importance of using antibiotics right in order to prevent antibiotic resistance (PDF). The following organizations signed this letter:

  • Association for Professionals in Infection Control—Inland Northwest & Puget Sound Chapters
  • Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners United of Washington State
  • Qualis Health
  • University of Washington Center for One Health Research
  • Washington Academy of Family Physicians
  • Washington Academy of Physician Assistants
  • Washington Advocates for Patient Safety
  • Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Washington Health Alliance
  • Washington Health Care Authority
  • Washington Infectious Disease Society
  • Washington State Association of Local Public Health Officials Health Officers Committee
  • Washington State Department of Agriculture
  • Washington State Department of Health
  • Washington State Hospital Association
  • Washington State Medical Association
  • Washington State Pharmacy Association
  • Washington State Veterinary Medical Association

Appropriate Antibiotic Use

The Washington State Department of Health promotes appropriate use of antibiotics in humans and animals by:

  • Developing guidance for antibiotic prescribers
  • Supporting Antibiotic Stewardship Programs in Washington hospitals
  • Promoting a One Health Antimicrobial Stewardship approach in Washington

Choosing Wisely

The Washington State Department of Health supports the Choosing Wisely campaign. Choosing Wisely aims to promote conversations between physicians and patients by helping patients choose care that is supported by evidence, not duplicative of other tests or procedures already received, free from harm, and truly necessary. One important way healthcare providers can prevent antibiotic resistant infections is by not prescribing antibiotics for viral infections.

Information for patients

Information for physicians