LOS ANGELES, June 22 Software programs that track laboratory and pharmacy records can be very helpful in facilitating antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs), according to a report made to the Infectious Disease Association of California by Kavita Trivedi, M.D., a medical epidemiologist with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).
In her report, "Antibiotic Use Optimization in California," Dr. Trivedi discussed efforts to reduce healthcare associated infections (HAIs) in the state and gave examples of effective programs. The report was given at the association's annual symposium, held in May in Garden Grove, CA.
Dr. Trivedi said software that automatically mines and analyzes pharmacy and lab reports and electronic medical records can improve the ASP efficiency by identifying high use agents, targeting cases for review and following outcomes. These software programs can either be proprietary or self-developed.
Without the new software programs, clinicians charged with carrying out a hospital ASP may need to spend many hours manually reviewing patient records, she noted.
Under a state law passed in 2006, SB 739, all California hospitals are now expected to have an antimicrobial stewardship program in place to reduce HAIs. Dr. Trivedi said that in the CDHP's initial review of existing hospital ASP efforts, several keys to success have emerged such as the use of software, administrative buy-in and hospital-wide education programs.
Dr. Trivedi pointed to a study which found that an ASP, started in 2006 at the 280-bed Kaiser Vallejo Hospital, has been very effective in reducing unnecessary antimicrobial usage, which also decreased costs. According to an independent, unpublished report, the hospital's ASP saved $150,000-$300,000 per year in reduced antimicrobial drug costs.
The Kaiser program was a team effort involving pharmacists, physicians and infection preventionists. Initially, infectious disease pharmacists reviewed line listings of patients on antibiotics. In 2008, the team implemented Medici, a clinical pharmacy system developed by Asolva Inc. to scale the success to 20 more hospitals within the healthcare system. Medici's automated surveillance improved the review process, and reported on outcomes measures (see www.asolva.com/company/news/20100505.html).
According to Chun Wong, chief executive officer of Asolva, "These instant reports free the clinicians from the labor-intensive task of compiling medication and lab results of the patient population. Now, they have more time to perform clinical assessments, and they can be more confident that no patient 'falls through the crack'."
Based in Los Angeles, Asolva is a leading developer of data analytics software, which can access data across many hospital departments. Medici, Asolva's flagship product, currently serves multiple hospitals and pharmacies and searches through millions of patient records annually to provide critical, real-time reporting. See www.asolva.com or contact email@example.com.
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