In response to Shawn Rhea's "CDC targeting central-line infections":
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention project in Chicago, which uses electronic surveillance technology to identify central-line infections, is a big step forward. Although data-mining software that searches across laboratory and pharmacy systems has been available for almost a decade, improvements in database technology and search algorithms have steadily improved the speed and capability of this software in recent years.
Central-line infections, while troubling to hospital executives and patients, are only part of the larger issue of healthcare-associated infections. More importantly, epidemiologists are concerned about increasing numbers of multidrug resistant organisms at a time when 50% of all anti-microbial drug use is unnecessary or inappropriate.
It is time for physicians, pharmacists and other infection preventionists to adopt more automated tools, spend less time on manual surveillance and take a leadership role in their hospital's anti-microbial stewardship program.
Chun WongCEOAsolvaLos Angeles