In 1993, several departments at Millard Fillmore Health System joined efforts to initiate a new approach to infection control. The main emphasis of this program is to move infection control to a real-time mode to manage patient outcomes daily. The principal objective was to decrease the number of nosocomial infections by 10%, with a particular emphasis on surgical-site infections. Besides real-time surveillance, we are critically evaluating several aspects of the management of nosocomial infections.
High-level computer support has been the framework upon which this program was built. We have micro-computers that are linked directly to microbiology, pharmacy, billing, and admissions, downloading data several times daily. An expert software system merges all of the data, and from this we can target patients for real-time interventions. The computer system allows all inpatients to be screened for either infection control or antibiotic management inter ventions on a daily basis, with minimal time being spent on data collection and maximal efforts devoted to inter ventions at the bedside.
Additionally, the infection management program will assist in maintaining the extraordinarily low expenditures on antimicrobial agents. During 1993, the Millard Fillmore Health System spent $924,884 on antibiotics, an amount approximately 50% that of comparably sized hospitals.