Connecting the Dots Image

What do antibiotics, immunizations and sepsis have in common and why is it important to “Connect the Dots”?

Antibiotics – According to the World Health Organization, antimicrobial resistance is one of the top 10 global public health threats¹ facing humanity. Every year 2.8 million people get an antibiotic-resistant infection and more than 35,000 people die². Although healthcare professionals have been working to combat this issue through antibiotic stewardship efforts, the CDC estimates approximately 47 million antibiotics are prescribed for infections that don’t require antibiotics³, such as colds and the flu.  For there to be success in reducing antimicrobial resistance, a community approach is needed.

Immunizations – Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 50,000 adults died annually in the United States from vaccine-preventable infections, according to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. During the COVID-19 pandemic, routine vaccinations in adults significantly decreased.4

Sepsis – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)5 states 87% of patients with sepsis had symptoms prior to hospitalization and one in three patients who die in a hospital has sepsis. Sepsis is a community issue and to stop this life-threatening illness, we need collaboration between all care settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, home health and physician clinics. Anyone can get an infection that leads to sepsis and antibiotics are required to treat sepsis.

We can PROTECT one’s health, PRESERVE antibiotic effectiveness and PREVENT infections leading to sepsis through immunizations, health hygiene and responsible antibiotic use. Ensuring patients and residents are current on their immunizations and prescribing antibiotics, only when needed, are ways that we can protect the health of our community.

Connecting the Dots | Great Plains QIN Webinar March 15, 2022 at 3 pm CT

Great Plains QIN developed the Connecting the Dots tools and resources to increase knowledge and achieve better health outcomes through understanding the connection between sepsis, immunizations and antibiotics. Tools and resources include a handout on each topic, posters and bookmarks that can be printed and distributed.

The Great Plains QIN team will host a Webinar, Connecting the Dots, on March 15, 2022 at 3 p.m. (CT) to share the connection between sepsis, immunizations and antibiotics. Data related to sepsis in the Dakotas will be shared as well as an explanation of the role immunizations play in avoiding unnecessary antibiotics. Presenters will offer an overview of the Connecting the Dots campaign and available tools and resources that can be printed and distributed.

Register Now.

Additional Resources

The Be Antibiotics Aware Toolkit, developed by the CDC, includes tools and resources to increase awareness and help improve human antibiotic prescribing and use.

The Surviving Sepsis Campaign updated its Adult Sepsis Guidelines in October 2021, which is especially timely as many who are seriously ill with COVID-19 are particularly vulnerable to sepsis.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provides publicly available Part D prescription data files with counts of drug claims aggregated at different levels. The Prescribers by Provider data file can be used to assess antibiotic prescribing among adults 65 years of age and older.


  1. World Health Organization Fact Sheets (November 2021)
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Drug Resistance (December 2021)
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Antibiotic Resistance (July 20, 2020)
  4. National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID): Support Vaccination – Let Us Count the Ways (August 2, 2021 by NFID)
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Get Ahead of Sepsis; (August 2021)