Health care systems around the world face a difficult challenge: how to deal with the growing threat of antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) bacteria.
In response, the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) created a plan to help the World Health Organization (WHO) that called for all countries to create action plans to combat AMR.
“This project is crucial for MOHAP,” said Salwa Jalal Al Blushi, senior health information systems specialist, MOHAP. “AMR surveillance is an ongoing challenge around the world.”
The Cerner ITWorks℠ team added new interfaces to PathNet® at one of its facilities, Al Qassimi Hospital. These interfaces automated the process clinicians used to run antibiotic tests.
“Cerner helped MOHAP automate the interfaces and augment the quality and quantity of AMR data captured,” Al Blushi said.
Previously, lab workers had to input all data manually on the AMR tests. The manual process limited how many tests could be run, but automating the process allowed more results to be completed.
At Al Qassimi Hospital, a small sample-sized study prior to implementation indicated it took about three to four minutes to run each test.
“Moving to automation helped make a big difference,” said Vibhor Mathur, ITWorks application consultant lead. “Now each test takes a few seconds. That’s a lot of time saved when you’re running an average of more than 2,000 tests a month.”
“The AMR surveillance project saved substantial time for laboratory technicians performing the microbiology susceptibility testing, recording data and analyzing the results to measure resistance rates,” Al Blushi said.
Automating the process also allowed lab workers to increase the number of AMR results. Before the new interfaces, from April through June 2016, Al Qassimi had a monthly average of 2,079 results. After implementation, from July through September 2016, that number more than doubled, to a monthly average of more than 4,700 results.
MOHAP leaders, including Al Blushi, hope by sharing their data they can help provide answers to a global health problem.
“This ensures the continuity of successful treatment and prevention of infectious diseases with effective and safe medicines that are quality-assured,” she said.
To further assist the WHO, MOHAP plans to share the detailed data across the country.
“MOHAP is committed to the UAE national plan to develop new strategies to combat antimicrobial-resistance using the surveillance data generated from Cerner,” Al Blushi said.