IT Integration Can Help Improve Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs

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Incorporating information technology (IT) into an antimicrobial stewardship program could support the improvement of intervention efficiency, facilitate tracking, and reporting of key metrics, such as outcomes / Photo by: Max Pixel

 

Incorporating information technology (IT) into an antimicrobial stewardship program could support the improvement of intervention efficiency, facilitate tracking, and reporting of key metrics, such as outcomes, this according to a white paper from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA).

Intentionally using IT can support the ease of escalating demands, which the healthcare system is facing, in order to meet antimicrobial stewardship standards and reporting requirements, said Kristi Kuper, the leader of the author and a senior clinical manager for infectious diseases in the Center for Pharmacy Practice Excellence at Vizient.

She added that this could be achieved even with the reduced financial and personnel resources, according to a press release.

The press release also states that the white paper discusses a review of stewardship related to functionality in these IT systems. It also provides a description of how the platforms can be employed to enhance antimicrobial use.

Furthermore, the study determines how IT will be able to support the current and possible future standards of antimicrobial stewardship regulatory and accreditation. It also indicates improvements to existing systems that are used today.

"While existing systems may present challenges, when used optimally, informatics can create readily available tools for local and national reporting, help guide appropriate antimicrobial prescribing that improves selection, dosing, and duration of therapy, and serve as an educational reference for trainees and providers," said Kuper.

She and her colleagues outlined several recommendations that could aid in bridging the gaps in existing systems, which include:

• Developing more agile systems for non-acute settings like primary care clinics, surgery centers, and outpatient dialysis centers.
• Enhancing documentation processes for the support of the clinical decision and EHR tools to lower the provider burden.
• Sharpening the ability to track and report patient results.
• Creating user networks to share best practices, as well as reduce redundancies to help raise the efficiency of the expansion of rules and reports.

Their papers titled "The Role of Electronic Health Record and "Add-On" Clinical Decision Support Systems to Enhance Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs" are published in the journal Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.