Clinical Surveillance System Documents Interventions to Help Reduce Catheter-Related Infections

Hospira, Inc. today announced a study showing how the TheraDoc clinical surveillance system has helped clinicians at Memorial Hospital Miramar reduce catheter-related infections, which correlated with an increase in infection control interventions.

Hospira, Inc. today announced a study showing how the TheraDoc clinical surveillance system has helped clinicians at Memorial Hospital Miramar reduce catheter-related infections, which correlated with an increase in infection control interventions. The hospital, which used TheraDoc to electronically track the number of interventions and catheters removed, as well as infection rates, is reporting the results in a poster presentation at the 2010 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) annual conference in New Orleans July 11-15.

Memorial Hospital Miramar, a 178-bed facility in South Florida, began using the TheraDoc Infection Control Assistant in 2008 to electronically record requests to remove urinary and central line catheters, and to document catheter-related urinary tract and bloodstream infections. Intervention requests were made by the hospitals infection preventionist, who attended daily rounds with the medical teams and often suggested the removal of urinary and central line catheters to help reduce infection risk. Months with more interventions were associated with fewer catheter-related infections, providing data to support infection-prevention efforts.

Catheter-associated infections are a significant problem for hospitals. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) account for 40 percent of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) in the United States, and 250,000 to 500,000 catheter-associated bloodstream infections (CABIs) occur in the nation each year. In addition to improving patient safety, avoiding these infections can result in significant cost savings for hospitals -- costs for each UTI and CABI are estimated at $600 and up to $29,000, respectively.

According to Alex Chavez, CIC, infection control practitioner at Memorial Hospital Miramar, preventing catheter-related infections is a focus for infection preventionists, but manually documenting and assessing the impact of interventions on infection rates can be challenging. When Chavez learned that the hospital was using TheraDoc to assess pharmacy interventions, he realized that the technology could do the same for infection prevention.

"The ability to electronically document interventions and then tie them to reduced infection rates is critical," Chavez said. "TheraDoc helps us quantify the value of infection preventionists in improving patient care and demonstrates the importance of interactions between infection preventionists and clinical staff."

Memorial Hospital Miramar, part of Memorial Healthcare System, has been using TheraDoc for infection prevention since 2008. TheraDoc automates the collection and analysis of clinical data from a range of sources within the hospital and alerts caregivers to clinically significant changes in patients conditions that need to be addressed. The software also helps coordinate communication among care teams and hospital executives, and facilitates reporting to public health officials and quality organizations.

"Memorial Healthcares innovative use of the TheraDoc clinical surveillance platform spans many areas of patient care -- from documenting infection prevention and pharmacy activities and meeting pediatric asthma core quality measures, to tracking H1N1 influenza cases," said Stanley Pestotnik, MS, RPh, general manager of TheraDoc. "Its success with these initiatives illustrates the versatility of the TheraDoc platform to help clinicians quickly address quality and patient safety challenges that hospitals face every day."

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