Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Using EMR data to determine origin of HAI

It's known that certain settings like healthcare, long-term care, and prison facilities increase the risk for certain infections. A prime example is MRSA. The challenge has been to determine where the patient acquired the infection, either from the community at large or from a healthcare facility. The distinction between the two is important for the monitoring, treatment, and prevention of infections.

A study by JS Wilson developed a process that identifies healthcare facilitiese from patients' addresses in the EMR database, automatically categorizes the address as either a healthcare facility or a residential address, and finally decides whether or not the infection is likely to be community or healthcare acquired.

This is an interesting attempt to use EMR data in assessing infection risk and opens the door to further investigating the effects of social networking on infections.

Full research paper here

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