Pharmacy OneSource Blog

Spotlight on Clinical Surveillance: How Three Health Systems Are Unlocking the Power of Data

Posted on 05/23/17

iStock_24443168_XXXLARGE.jpgHealthcare organizations are increasingly leveraging the power of clinical surveillance systems to comply with state and federal mandates and optimize care delivery through more proactive identification and treatment of patient issues. Scalable clinical decision support (CDS) surveillance solutions, such as Sentri7®, are improving outcomes by addressing a wide range of clinical challenges faced by today’s hospitals and health systems. In fact, here’s a look at how three forward-looking groups are more effectively addressing high-level initiatives such as medication management, infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship through these advanced, technology-enabled workflows.

Medication Management

To aid in the monitoring of patient medication levels and prevent potential drug interactions and medical errors, Hallmark Health System (HHS) implemented Sentri7. The solution simplifies documentation of interventions, data reporting and provider communications, while enabling optimal medication management through real-time aggregation of critical patient data across disparate systems. By eliminating timely paper-based processes, additional time is now available for clinical patient evaluations and follow-ups to improve patient medication understanding and compliance.

Ongoing medication monitoring built on rules-based algorithms enables rapid clinical response to medication issues. Streamlined pharmacy workflows led to a notable increase in pharmacy interventions, enhanced clinical outcomes and a cost savings of nearly $90,000 in one year.

Infection Prevention

Like most healthcare organizations today, North Oaks Health System faced notable challenges to getting ahead of the infection prevention curve. Manual methods of surveillance, high patient volumes and limited staff resources typically resulted in a reactive response to clinical issues and limited the effectiveness of program strategies. In fact, latent data was often obsolete by the time clinical staff devised a plan of action due to rapidly fluctuations in patient information and clinical status.

After implementing Sentri7, and harnessing its rules-based platform and real-time electronic surveillance and reporting, clinical staff were better equipped to proactively identify significant care gaps and at-risk patients. A web portal is now used to prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), allowing more timely review of key surveillance findings. In addition, the solution automates reporting to the National Healthcare Safety Network.

Antimicrobial Stewardship

As part of its antimicrobial stewardship initiatives, Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital utilized Sentri7’s capabilities to implement a high-performing antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) and more effectively manage resources. The platform’s customizable rules are used to flag issues associated with antimicrobial therapy resistance and inappropriate use of antibiotics. For example, Arlington uses Sentri7 to identify opportunities to de-escalate antibiotics along with monitoring for resistant organisms such as:

  • E. coli positive patients on levofloxacin therapy
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa positive patients on piperacillin-tazobactam therapy susceptible to other therapies
  • Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus on either vancomycin or linezolid
  • Enterococcus faecalis on vancomycin with corresponding penicillin sensitive results

 Arlington pharmacists also leverage Sentri7 to identify opportunities to change therapy from intravenous to oral antibiotics as well as other identified medication management issues.

 By implementing Sentri7, Arlington increased antibiotic-related interventions by 54 percent leading to a significant decrease in antibiotic costs per patient day, and savings over $770,000.

 As demonstrated by these practical examples, clinical surveillance solutions provide the technological framework that equips healthcare systems with the tools needed to address some of today’s most difficult clinical challenges. Specifically, Sentri7 has proven its ability to deliver a notable return on investment, streamlining workflows and reducing costs while significantly enhancing patient care and outcomes.

Carteret Case Study on Sentri7 Technology

Topics: Clinical Surveillance, Infection Prevention, Antimicrobial Stewardship

About the Author

Matthew Weissenbach, MPH, CPH, CIC is the Director of Clinical Operations for Pharmacy OneSource. As a trained epidemiologist, Matt has significant experience within the healthcare informatics arena centered on leveraging automation to advance the fields of epidemiology and infection prevention. He has also been extensively involved in international public health, specifically infectious disease epidemiology and vector-borne diseases endemic to Southeast Asia. Matt is a member of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) at the national and local (NC) levels as well as a member of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA). Matt received his Master of Public Health degree in Global Health Practice from the University of South Florida and is board certified in Public Health and Infection Control.