Texas Hospital Adopts Tracking Software to Prevent Infections and Improve Care

Building on its ongoing effort to improve clinical quality and patient safety, Midland (Texas) Memorial Hospital has fully deployed ICNets automated surveillance software, which monitors an array of clinical data streams to alert hospital staff of potential infections and stop the spread of disease.

ICNet, serving more than 1,000 hospitals globally including a growing number in North America has also provided 230-bed Midland Memorial with a pharmacy module that interfaces with the health systems electronic medical record system to ensure appropriate prescribing of antibiotics, detect and prevent adverse drug events for all classes of drugs, and provide more accurate and powerful reports on a wide range of quality-of-care metrics, including auditing of doctors adherence to prescribing protocols.

The system rollout began at Midland Memorial in late July 2012. Within weeks it played a major role in identifying and reporting the only case of serogroup arbovirus (a form of encephalitis) in Texas, which occurred during an outbreak of West Nile virus in the state.

We were able to find and report that case to the state quickly because of the reporting capabilities of ICNet, says Charlotte Shelton, infection prevention practitioner at Midland. With ICNet, we always get an alert of a positive culture before we get a phone call from the lab. It has made real-time surveillance an\ effective process for the prevention of hospital-acquired infections here at Midland Memorial.

Shelton said the system is being used by Infection Control, Pharmacy, the Critical Care Unit, the Emergency Department, Quality Management and the Diabetes Nutrition Learning Center. ICNet has aided the hospitals infection control staff in effectively managing required reportable diseases to the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This has proved invaluable this influenza season and the last few months of the local pertussis outbreak, Shelton says.

We are honored to bring our solution to Midland Memorial Hospital, an early adopter of infection surveillance, says Adam Boris, ICNet Systems CEO. In the mid-1990s Midland Memorial became one of the first hospitals in the nation to screen patients for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), two of the most serious drug-resistant organisms, and now it has an extremely low rate of MRSA and VRE of just 0.04 for every 1,000 patient days. Electronic surveillance takes what Midland has been doing to another level to improve care quality and ensure accurate reporting to regulatory agencies a key factor in ensuring appropriate reimbursement and providing meaningful improvement in national hospital quality scores.

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