University of Tennessee Partners With Joint Commission to Study Antibiotic Use to Prevent Post-Surgical Infections

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. -- The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) is partnering with the University of Tennessee, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), to conduct a four-year study under an Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research funded grant project entitled "Trial to Reduce Antibiotic Prophylaxis Errors" (TRAPE).

The TRAPE study will examine hospitals' timely use of antibiotics before and after cardiovascular, joint replacement and hysterectomy surgeries to effectively reduce post-surgical infection.

It is estimated that one-third of surgical patients do not receive antibiotics or receive them in such a way as to leave them relatively unprotected from infection. Post-surgical infections can lead to extended hospital stays and even death.

The principal investigator is Stephen B. Kritchevsky, PhD, professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Tennessee. Forty hospitals will be enrolled in the randomized trial over the next six months, and the study will start in early 2003. Half of the hospitals will receive feedback on their error rates. The other half will receive feedback plus intensive assistance in identifying and implementing solutions to improve the appropriateness and timeliness of preventive antibiotics.

The Joint Commission will serve as the coordination center for the TRAPE study, providing training and ongoing support of study participants.

Source: JCAHO

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