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The Spring 2012 edition of Emory's Public Health Magazine features an article on Keith Klugman and the first-ever drug resistance index (DRI).  Much like a stock market or consumer price index, the DRI aggregates and weights available data to produce a single measure that can be examined over time - in this case the index represents the burden of resistance in a hospital or geographical area.  Why create this "Dow Jones for drug resistance"?  “Economists do this all the time,” [Dr. Klugman] says. “The end result is something that is easy to understand, even though it may be complex to calculate.” Dr. Klugman, William H. Foege Chair in Global Health at Emory, is developing the DRI in collaboration with Extending the Cure and CDDEP's Global Antibiotic Resistance Partnership.

Later this year, ETC will release a DRI to show trends in resistance across the United States.  But the DRI can also be calculated in individual hospitals, for example to measure the success of antibiotic stewardship or infection control programs.  For an accounting of one hospital's experience implementing a DRI, read this blog post by Nikolay Braykov on the changing landscape of resistance at one of New Delhi's top medical facilities.

The DRI is explained in more detail in Emory's Public Health Magazine.  And stay tuned this year for updates to ResistanceMap that include mapping a DRI for the United States.