News | February 17, 2008

Cardinal Health Infection Monitoring System Aids Reduction of HAIs

February 18, 2008 – Cardinal Health said today more than 250 hospitals across the country are now using the MedMined Data Mining Surveillance Service to help prevent, detect, monitor and treat hospital-acquired infections (HAIs).

HAIs are estimated to affects one in every 20 patients across the U.S. and costs the healthcare industry an estimated $20 billion each year.

The maker said MedMined monitors the entire hospital for early signs of emerging issues and targets improvement efforts where they can have the most impact. Using technology similar to that used by credit card companies to monitor purchases for fraud, the technology automatically identifies patterns indicative of specific quality breakdowns without predefined search criteria, user-defined control charts or alerts, or chart review.

The new MRSA Scorecard provides a hospital-wide view of Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), allowing infection control practitioners to track the types and locations of MRSA infections throughout the hospital. The scorecard allows hospitals to identify patients who tested positive for the bacteria and distinguish between those who likely acquired the infection in the hospital and those who had an MRSA infection present on admission. Through this real-time view, hospitals can rapidly dispatch resources to limit the spread of MRSA infections, which are responsible for about 94,000 life-threatening conditions and 18,650 deaths annually in the U.S.

The MedMined Antimicrobial Management Service helps alert clinicians of patients that may be in need of therapy optimization early in the course of infection. In addition, detailed patient histories provide infectious disease physicians, clinical pharmacists and infection control practitioners with a more comprehensive view of clinically significant events, the company said.

“MedMined services implementation was swift, utilized our hospital’s existing data and required minimum effort by my IT department,” said Linda Reed, RN, MBA, vice president and chief information officer of Atlantic Health in Morristown, N.J.

Cardinal said hospitals using MedMined services have seen on average a 13 percent reduction of HAIs in the first.

Cardinal Health will be showcasing this technology at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Annual Conference and Exhibition Feb. 24-28 in Orlando.

The company will also highlight several other products at HIMSS, including:

- Web-based, integrated medication order management and clinical intervention tool: A new system that uses a hospital’s existing fax machines in its nursing units to transmit paper medication orders into a digitized format that is viewable in the hospital pharmacy through a Web-based document management system. All orders are queued in a central location and prioritized by urgency. The system also provides detailed metrics such as order volume by line, order turnaround times, number of unapproved abbreviations, duplicate orders, medication error rates, and also tracks clinical consultations and interventions according to safety issues and physician practices, the company said.

− Transfusion verification for critical care: The system can help protect patients from blood transfusion errors hospital-wide. The new Rapid Infusion feature provides a systematic method of positive patient identification for matching blood components and efficient documentation, even during emergency situations.

- Safer medication management: A single medication management solution that can help clinicians monitor orders for their patients, determine the location of medications, pre-populate parameters for continuous IV infusions, verify the accuracy of medications to be administered and document to the hospital’s existing IT systems. The solution links the workflow across automated medication dispensing technology, infusion safety systems and point-of-care bar code medication administration applications.

- Cardinal Health partnership program: By partnering with healthcare IT vendors, Cardinal Health’s Alaris, Pyxis and CareFusion technologies can be interfaced with a wide variety of healthcare IT products to allow hospitals to maximize their current IT investments when installing one or more of Cardinal Health’s patient safety technologies.

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