SHERBROOKE, QC, March 12, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ -The Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS) is using a software to monitor the prescription of antibiotics. "The big winners in this new development are our patients, since this software improves the quality and safety of care," said Dr. Louis Valiquette, microbiologist/infectious disease specialist at the CHUS and associate professor at the Université de Sherbrooke (UdeS). This software analyzes patients' clinical data, identifies sub-optimal prescriptions, and categorizes interventions by their potential impact. Thus, a greater proportion of prescriptions are monitored, resulting in significantly enhanced monitoring effectiveness and pharmacist efficiency. This software is a Canadian first and could easily be exported to other health institutions. The CHUS antibiotics' optimization program, based on this software, was associated with direct savings over $300 000 the first year it was in place, representing an 18% reduction in antibiotic expenses.
Dr. Valiquette's team, in cooperation with Professor Froduald Kabanza, computer scientist and professor at the Faculty of science at the U de S, and the CHUS' Pharmacy Department, developed this software that analyzes antibiotic prescriptions and identifies potential improvements based on the patient's current state of health. "This is a prime example of applied research conducted jointly by the CHUS and the Université de Sherbrooke," Dr. Valiquette pointed out. The project was carried out thanks to funding from the Fonds de la recherche du Québec - Santé (FRQS) and the Conseil du médicament. It was the 2003-2004 Clostridium difficile crisis that inspired Dr. Valiquette to develop this monitoring system to optimize the quality of antibiotic prescriptions because antibiotic use is the primary risk factor for developing C. difficile infection.
"Hospital pharmacists use this software and, in collaboration with an infectious disease specialist, analyze antibiotic prescriptions based on up-to-date patient data, identify prescriptions that require re-evaluation, and make recommendations to the prescribing physician, when warranted. Over a one-year period, almost 38 000 prescriptions were analyzed," explained Dr. Valiquette, concerned about prescribing the right drug, at the right time, to the right patient, at the lowest cost. At least 1700 recommendations were made and over 90% of them were accepted by the prescribing physicians. The recommendations involved adjusting administered doses, stopping or reducing the length of antibiotic therapies, and switching from intravenous to oral medications.
Advantages that make a difference to the patient
Antibiotics are given to almost half of hospitalized patients. Choosing the optimal antibiotic therapy is a complex process requiring periodic reassessment to take into account lab test results and the general evolution of the patient's condition. Appropriate use of antibiotics prevents many harmful consequences to patient health: the development of side effects due to toxicity, sub-optimal effectiveness, an extended hospital stay, the development of resistant germs, or C. difficile infection.
"The cooperation between medical teams is essential to ensure long-lasting benefits," concluded Dr. Valiquette, who is also a researcher at the CHUS' Centre de recherche clinique Étienne-Le Bel (CRCELB).
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For further information:
Maud Coussa Jandl, communications advisor
Communications and Public Affairs, CHUS' Centre de recherche clinique Étienne-Le Bel (CRCELB)
Tel.: 819-346-1110, ext. 12871 or 819-570-1646 (cell)
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