Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Computerized checklist reduces type of hospital infection, study finds

Date:
February 24, 2014
Source:
Stanford University Medical Center
Summary:
A computerized safety checklist that automatically pulls information from patients' electronic medical records was associated with a threefold drop in rates of one serious type of hospital-acquired infection, according to a study. The study targeted bloodstream infections that begin in central lines -- catheters inserted into major veins. The automated checklist, and a dashboard-style interface used to interact with it, made it fast and easy for caregivers to follow national guidelines for keeping patients' central lines infection-free.

Christopher Longhurst was part of a team that found a way to pull information from hospital patients' electronic medical records to reduce the rate of one type of infection.
Credit: Steve Fisch

A computerized safety checklist that automatically pulls information from patients' electronic medical records was associated with a threefold drop in rates of one serious type of hospital-acquired infection, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford.

The study, conducted in the hospital's pediatric intensive care unit, targeted bloodstream infections that begin in central lines -- catheters inserted into major veins. The infections are a preventable cause of illness and death, and hospitals across the country are working to reduce their frequency.

The automated checklist, and a dashboard-style interface used to interact with it, made it fast and easy for caregivers to follow national guidelines for keeping patients' central lines infection-free. The new system combed through data in the electronic medical record and pushed alerts to physicians and nurses when a patient's central line was due for care. During the study, the rate of central line infections in the hospital's pediatric intensive care unit dropped from 2.6 to 0.7 per 1,000 days of central line use.

The findings will be published online Feb. 23 in Pediatrics.

"Electronic medical records are data-rich and information-poor," said Natalie Pageler, MD, the study's lead author. Often, the data in electronic medical records is cumbersome for caregivers to use in real time, but the study showed a way to change that, said Pageler, who is a critical care medicine specialist at the hospital and a clinical associate professor of pediatrics. "Our new tool lets physicians focus on taking care of the patient while automating some of the background safety checks."

Central lines have many uses, such as administering long-term antibiotics or chemotherapy and providing access to the bloodstream in patients who need kidney dialysis or frequent blood draws. The Institute of Medicine's 1999 report on medical errors, To Err is Human, identified central line infections as a key target for reducing harm in health care. Approximately 40 percent of patients in the pediatric intensive care unit have central lines at some point during their hospital stays.

The research team collaborated with engineers from HP Labs to program the checklist and build a dashboard interface that displayed real-time alerts on a large LCD screen in the nurses' station. Alerts -- shown as red, yellow or green dots beside patients' names -- were generated if, for example, the dressing on a patient's central line was due to be changed, or if it was time for caregivers to re-evaluate whether medications given in the central line could be switched to oral formulations instead.

"The information was visible and easy to digest," said Deborah Franzon, MD, the study's senior author and a clinical associate professor of pediatrics and medical director of the hospital's pediatric intensive care unit. "We improved compliance with best-care practices and pulled information that otherwise would have been difficult to look for. It reduced busy-work and made it possible for the health-care team to perform their jobs more efficiently and effectively."

In addition to avoiding harm to patients, the intervention saved approximately $260,000 per year in health-care costs in the hospital's pediatric intensive care unit, the researchers estimated. Treating a single bloodstream infection from a central line costs approximately $39,000.

The researchers hope to expand the system to other uses, such as monitoring the recovery of children who have received organ transplants.

"The nice thing about this tool is that it's integrated into the electronic medical record, which we use every single day," Pageler said.

Added Franzon, "This system works like a GPS-based road map that pulls relevant information to the forefront, and helps guide decisions about how to get safely to the destination."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Stanford University Medical Center. The original article was written by Erin Digitale. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Natalie M. Pageler, Christopher A. Longhurst, Matthew Wood, David N. Cornfield, Jaap Suermondt, Paul J. Sharek, and Deborah Franzon. Use of Electronic Medical Record–Enhanced Checklist and Electronic Dashboard to Decrease CLABSIs. Pediatrics, February 2014 DOI: 10.1542/peds.2013-2249

Cite This Page:

Stanford University Medical Center. "Computerized checklist reduces type of hospital infection, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140224081659.htm>.
Stanford University Medical Center. (2014, February 24). Computerized checklist reduces type of hospital infection, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140224081659.htm
Stanford University Medical Center. "Computerized checklist reduces type of hospital infection, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140224081659.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins