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Automated tracking and ordering of precautions for multidrug-resistant organisms.

  • Author(s): Quan, Kathleen A
  • Cousins, Sarah M
  • Porter, Darlene D
  • Puppo, Robert A
  • Huang, Susan S
  • et al.

The transmission and infection risk associated with multidrug-resistant organism (MDRO) carriers necessitates surveillance and tracking to provide proper contact precautions. As MDROs increase in scope, automated electronic health record (EHR) systems may help with surveillance demands.We created a system for MDROs and Clostridium difficile tracking that automated the following 3 main surveillance and tracking activities: monitoring of microbiology results and initiation of chart-based flags, ordering of contact precautions on admission, and ensuring appropriate removal of precautions.Automation saved 43 infection preventionist hours per 1,000 admissions, in addition to previously unquantified hours spent reviewing MDRO history for every admission. Automatic retiring of certain MDRO flags ensured removal of contact precautions after a specified time. A point-prevalence assessment for eligibility for discontinuation found that all precautions were appropriate, with none eligible for removal. By integrating microbiology data, EHR tracking flags, and automated orders, this system assured rapid and comprehensive placement of patients into contact precautions without requiring oversight by infection prevention personnel.We show that automated systems embedded within EHRs can ensure tracking and application of appropriate contact precautions while simultaneously producing tremendous time savings for infection prevention programs.

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