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US report reveals key role for eHealth in the fight against hospital acquired infections.

2008-10-24 05:33:46

Empirica is actively involved in an innovative eHealth project aimed at fighting antimicrobial resistance.

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) provides a timely reminder of Information Technology's relevance in the fight against hospital acquired infections. In its review of "State Reporting Programs and Individual Hospital Initiatives to Reduce Certain Infections" the GAO found that information technology was key for hospitals wanting to implement guidelines against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Evanston Northwestern Healthcare (ENH) and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)were the two hospital sites studied more in depth by the GAO researchers. They found that both hospital systems relied heavily on information technology to facilitate compliance with the various components of the MRSA initiative. The electronic medical record system at ENH for example added an orange banner on the medical record screen that highlighted any patient who had not yet undergone an MRSA test.

In both hospitals, the MRSA initiative was initiated and driven forward by the leading infectiologists. These lead physicians worked extensively with hospital administrators and their fellow clinicians, documenting the extent of their existing problem with MRSA, and laying out the steps that they could take to address the problem.

With its involvement in the DebugIT project empirica is working at the forefront of the fight against antimicrobial resistance. The DebugIT project aims to identify patterns of patient harm and generate new knowledge through innovative data-mining on federated data from clincial information systems.