Hospital Acquired Infections – How to Reduce Surveillance Waste

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“Health Catalyst allowed us to quickly and easily identify actual Hospital Acquired Infection (HAI) cases, including ones we were missing before. Thanks to the EDW, our infection prevention team spends more time delivering interventions and less time collecting data.”  

-Manager, Infection Control and Epidemiology 


All healthcare systems face the same dual challenge. They need to wring out expenses at the same time that government is imposing new regulatory challenges—not the least of which are increased Hospital Acquired Infection (HAI) reporting requirements.

A large medical center needed to streamline its process for identifying patients with central-line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CA-UTI). These nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections are associated with longer patient stays, increased mortality, as well as increased care costs—an estimated $20,000 per CLABSI case. They are largely preventable.

Late-Binding™ Data Warehouse

Partly in an effort to tackle this issue, the medical center previously tried to implement a traditional enterprise data warehouse (EDW). Results were poor. Deployment took years and never generated the needed, near real-time results. Meanwhile, clinical resources that might have been directed to improving patient care were spent manually tracking lab results and reviewing data to determine if patients’ positive blood or urine cultures correlated to nosocomial infections.

In 2011, the hospital brought in Health Catalyst to deploy its Late-Binding™ Data Warehouse. Working flexibly with the health system’s electronic health record software, the agile EDW application supports the fast-changing rules and use cases of healthcare data.

HAI Advanced Application

The Health Catalyst HAI Advanced Application includes the implementation of automated clinical algorithms that adhere to National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) definitions. The algorithms provide inclusion and exclusion criteria for patients. For algorithm validation, all cultures processed by the hospital, were collected in a retrospective electronic search for a six month time period. These results were validated utilizing NHSN surveillance definitions by trained infection preventionists thorough chart review.

Within six months, chart reviews showed that use of the Health Catalyst Application delivered more accurate regulatory reporting of HAI

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