Laboratory-based management of microbiological alerts: Effects of an automated system on the surveillance and treatment of nosocomial infections in an oncology hospital

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Abstract

Background: Prevention and surveillance programs are key to contain Nosocomial Infections (Nis). At the European Institute of Oncology, surveillance based on ex-post data collection has always been done since the inception of hospital activity; laboratory-based surveillance of microbiological alert was not standardized. This study describes the issues related to the recent introduction in hospital routine of a laboratory-based automated surveillance system and its clinical impact on monitoring and treatment of Nis. Methods: An interdisciplinary team defined the alerts and the actions to be taken in response; recipients of the alert messages were identified and software was programmed. Program features were created so their employment would generate a prompt notification of clinically critical results. After a training period, the program was introduced in the hospital routine. Results: There were a total of 150 generated alerts; the main alert related to microorganisms requiring prompt patient isolation and/or public notification. Clinical use of the program was relevant in detection and immediate notification of Cytomegalovirus active infection in stem cell recipients and central venous catheter - related candidemia: the prompt administration of adequate treatment was possible hours in advance compared to the previous approach. Conclusions: A laboratory-based automated surveillance system is effective in facilitating the management of NIs; its clinical employment also leads to important clinical advantages in patient care.

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Passerini, R., Biffi, R., Riggio, D., Pozzi, S., & Sandri, M. T. (2009). Laboratory-based management of microbiological alerts: Effects of an automated system on the surveillance and treatment of nosocomial infections in an oncology hospital. Ecancermedicalscience, 3(1). https://doi.org/10.3332/ecancer.2009.137

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