Hospitalists have a powerful tool to help them fight outbreaks of Clostridium difficile and other infectious agents: electronic health record data.
Sara Murray, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and her colleagues, used EHR data to map temporal and spatial coordinates to determine where patients in their hospital were at highest risk for C. difficile. Patients who’d had a CT scan on a particular machine in the emergency department within 24 hours of an infected person having been scanned there had a threefold higher risk of infection, they found. This information helped the hospital’s infection control team to create a more effective sterilization plan for that specific machine.
“The takeaway is that we should be leveraging our EHR data to inform our quality improvement efforts,” Dr. Murray said in this video interview, recorded during HM17.