Antimicrobial Stewardship

Microbial outbreaks kill thousands of people every year and cost medical facilities millions of dollars. Many of these outbreaks can be prevented. Simple mistakes or omissions, like the failure to clean certain surfaces, can cause a large number of painful, life-threatening infections. Hospitals need the techniques and tools required to identify possible microbial sources and neutralize them as quickly as possible.

Previously, the only ways to cut down on microbial infections were to hire a specialist, bring in a consultant, or train every person in the institution individually. Specialists are expensive and may be needed only for sporadic periods of time. They may not be worth the funds paid to them. Consultants are not always easy to track down. In some instances, the advice given by an in-person consultant may not be suitable to a particular health care facility. Training is helpful but requires a continued investment with frequent visits for new information. Individuals may have to spend hours or days at another location where they are unable to treat the large volume of patients at home.

Technology offers another option for cutting down on microbial infections. Antimicrobial stewardship is a telehealth service where professionals use teleconferences and frequent communications to reduce microbial risk. In this process, high definition cameras show a team of professionals every aspect of the institution in question. These professionals have been trained to the highest standards of the CDC, the Joint Commission, and the Infectious Disease Society of America. They know all of the latest protocols and can introduce new rules to the individuals working at the company.

The telehealth professionals may start by setting up a checklist system for disinfecting surfaces and wiping down instruments. Then, they might bring all of the employees at the company into a training session. Telehealth can be synced up with computer programs that offer training classes and assessments to ensure that employees know and understand new guidelines. They can be available in real-time to answer any questions or overcome any problems that occur. In addition, setting up meetings and new training sessions is much easier than traditional training programs. Telehealth professionals can collect data and perform follow-up reviews to ensure that their methods are working.