The emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens has been an ongoing concern of infection-control and infectious disease practitioners. Infections caused by these organisms increase costs and may result in poorer outcomes for patients. Efforts to contain the problem of infections caused by drug-resistant organisms have two objectives: to optimize antibiotic use and to prevent transmission through effective infection-control practices.
Increasing emphasis will be placed on the efficient delivery of healthcare. This article concentrates on recommendations for cost containment including increased cost consciousness, elimination of waste, improved quality of care, and use of the team approach to cost containment. The resources over which bedside nurses and managers in critical care have direct or indirect control are the focus of this discussion.