SALT LAKE CITY -- Northwestern Memorial Hospital and University of Utah Hospital are the first in the country to utilize real-time software provided by TheraDoc® Inc., a clinical informatics company, to transmit Antimicrobial Use and Resistance (AUR) reports to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These two hospitals are daily reporting relevant clinical data to the CDC for the ongoing AUR eSurveillance pilot project, which was launched to proactively address antimicrobial-resistance, a public health problem of increasing concern.
The CDCs DHQP (Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion) has leveraged their expertise with partners such as TheraDoc to develop this project, which is a research and development component of the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). The ultimate goal is to advance the nations ability to survey antimicrobial use in hospitals and reduce the proliferation of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens. An intermediary goal is to define industry-standard message specifications that all healthcare information systems can use to report relevant data.
Gary A. Noskin, MD, medical director of healthcare epidemiology and quality at Northwestern Memorial, stated, By streamlining daily reporting processes and maximizing the use of clinical data, TheraDoc exemplifies the type of help the CDC needs to create a robust system for monitoring antimicrobial use. He added, The CDC can effectively and more-quickly combat this growing threat to public health through timelier surveillance and earlier identification of emerging resistance.
Northwestern Memorial and University of Utah implemented the TheraDoc Expert System Platform® (ESP), Infection Control Assistant® and Antibiotic Assistant® to enhance infection control and improve the quality and safety of patient care. Now, the ESP is serving as a standards-based public reporting system that daily transmits secure clinical data to a federal public health agency.
Matthew Samore, MD, chief of the division of clinical epidemiology at the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System and University of Utah, said, TheraDocs technology is the next generation of infection surveillance systems, and enables public reporting at minimal additional cost. He further explained, The AUR reports represent a huge step forward, and will become increasingly powerful as more and more hospitals participate.
Messaging and vocabulary standards are essential to the successful transmission of AUR reports, as are the interoperability standards promoted by the Public Health Information Network (PHIN). In partnership with the CDC and other healthcare consultants, TheraDoc has contributed its knowledge as well as HL7 and clinical informatics experience to the development and implementation of cutting-edge standards such as those utilized in the AUR eSurveillance project.
Strictly adhering to data exchange, messaging and vocabulary standards by design, TheraDoc technology enables interoperability and connectivity within healthcare IT systems while automating the timely collection and delivery of accurate clinical data. This commitment to standards allows the technology to significantly increase any users ability to compile and analyze clinical data whether at the CDC, in a hospital, or at a state and federal public health agency.
Stan Pestotnik, president and CEO of TheraDoc, explained, Applying standards to enable the transmission of data that is easily understood by IT systems and clinical personnel is truly groundbreaking. He stated further, Our software not only delivers important and timely information to public health agencies, it also standardizes data and presents it within a single view. This saves time and allows people to quickly interpret, analyze and utilize the data.
The University of Utah Hospital was the first to use standards-based TheraDoc technology to participate in the CDCs pilot program. As the beta-testing site for this project, it has successfully transmitted ADT, microbiology and pharmacy data for two years. In August 2006, Northwestern Memorial Hospital began using TheraDoc technology to transmit the same AUR data to the CDC.
As this program is more broadly implemented, AUR reports from multiple hospitals across the country will enable nationwide surveillance of antimicrobial use and resistance and, ultimately, earlier interventions by the CDC on behalf of the American public. In particular, the national AUR eSurveillance project will enable the following:
-- Detecting antimicrobial resistant pathogens
-- Monitoring nationwide antibiotic usage
-- Investigating the relationship between antimicrobial drug use and emerging resistance
The AUR project demonstrates TheraDocs commitment to public reporting standards and requirements. The CDC, TheraDoc, HL7 and other partners are also applying similar technologies to address the needs of mandatory public reporting of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). To date, 14 states have mandated public reporting of HAIs, with 25 additional states considering similar legislation. An increasing number of hospitals are efficiently meeting HAI reporting requirements with TheraDoc technology, which also enables real-time infection surveillance, confirmation and intervention. Through these and other projects, TheraDoc demonstrates its leadership in developing and supporting standards-based solutions that improve the quality and safety of patient care.
Source: TheraDoc, Inc.