Antimicrobial medication has transformed medical care. Over the years, antibiotics have made it easy to treat deadly infections and improved recovery after major surgical operations. They have also saved the lives of people who may have died of diseases such as sepsis. Nonetheless, according to data published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 30 percent of all antibiotic drugs prescribed in the country’s acute care hospitals don’t perform optimally or are not needed. The CDC launched an Antimicrobial Stewardship Program (ASP) to combat antibiotic resistance and reduce the occurrence of resistant strains of antibiotics. However, to make this program useful, providers must effectively deploy healthcare steward solutions at both inpatient and outpatient hospitals.

Here are some facts that can help improve the effectiveness of ASPs across the country.

1. Optimal Use of Antibiotics Protects the Future Population

Optimizing the prescription and use of antimicrobial medicine is vital for:

  • Treating patients with infections
  • Protecting patients from adverse effects of undue antibiotic use
  • Combating antibiotic resistance

Effective ASPs help clinicians boost the outcome of clinical treatment and reduce the adverse effects of misusing antibiotics.

When antibiotics are poorly administered, they produce several side effects in the patient and the rest of the population. The adverse effects include poor response to antibiotics when future infections arise and an increase in resistant strains of bacteria in both humans and animals.

2. Provider Level Tracking and Data Reporting is Effective

Tracking is the deliberate monitoring of antibiotic prescriptions, the impact of any interventions, and any significant outcomes such as resistance patterns. Hospitals should also send data on antibiotic use to the National Healthcare Safety Network.

In its 2019 update on the core elements of the antibiotic stewardship program, the CDC points out that provider-level reporting is very effective. Health data stewardship solutions designed for this purpose can simplify regular reporting of information on the use of antibiotics and their resistance to pharmacists, clinicians, and hospital leadership.

3. IT Plays a Critical Role in Implementing ASPs

IT staff play a critical role in the integration of stewardship programs into an existing workflow. Some of the essential aspects that IT staff can handle effectively include:

  • Bringing relevant information into the physician’s application screen while attending to a patient. Examples include medication order sets and guidelines for administering antibiotics.
  • Providing decision support for the use of antibiotics and creating alerts to review prescription of antibiotics.
  • Sending prompt reports to the National Health Safety Network.

4. Advanced Software Platforms Boost the Effectiveness of ASPs

Using artificial intelligence and other advanced software algorithms like machine learning can detect diseases faster and boost patient outcomes.

Studies have demonstrated that using artificial intelligence can increase the ability to detect a disease from 74 to 90 percent. Similarly, developers can create computer algorithms to study patients and accurately detect when they need to be given antibiotics in outpatient clinics.

See How Health Data Stewardship Solutions Work

Contact MediQuant now to schedule a free appointment on the use of special tools for stewardship program implementation. You can also give us a call at 844.286.8683 to schedule a free demo of any of our Health IT solutions.

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About the Author:
Founded in 1999, and headquartered in Brecksville, Ohio, MediQuant provides industry-leading data archiving solutions and comprehensive system transition data management services to help hospitals and health systems liberate their data from legacy clinical, patient accounting and ERP systems. Its flagship product, DataArk, available as a cloud-based or an on-premises platform, provides users the ability to access and work with legacy data without the legacy system security risks and expense.