Decision support for bugs and drugs

This story first appeared in the July 2014 issue of Pulse+IT Magazine.

An electronic antimicrobial stewardship approval and decision support software program known as eASY that was designed by clinicians from the Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD) has undergone a revamp recently, with new functionality added that provides decision support on drug dosing and multi-site levels of restriction, in addition to existing tools such as guidelines on what antibiotics to use and real-time notifications of approval or refusal.

eASY was developed by a team led by the director of pharmacy at Manly and Mona Vale hospitals, Noman Masood, and the director of operations at NSLHD, Andrew Montague, in association with a local vendor partner. Since its release in 2011, eASY has been implemented in hospitals throughout the district, including Mona Vale, Manly, Royal North Shore, Ryde and Hornsby hospitals, and discussions are underway to provide a free licence to use the product in any public hospital in NSW.

An updated version of the program was developed earlier this year that features new functionality, including a tool that helps clinicians decide on the individualised dose of antibiotics based on kidney function.

It also now comes with multi-site functionality so smaller hospitals within a local health district that might not have sufficient infectious disease specialists on staff can add extra layers of restrictions to the prescribing of antibiotics. There are also plans to provide bacteria-based decision support, which will allow doctors to perform a point-of-care check on the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in different areas based on type of pathogen.

Mr Masood says the impetus behind the development of the program was two-fold. When the idea was first considered four or five years ago, it was becoming obvious that public hospitals would be mandated to manage and restrict access to antibiotics due to the emerging dangers of antimicrobial resistance.

To read the full story, click here for the July 2014 issue of Pulse+IT Magazine.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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