bioMerieux, a world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics, announced the upcoming availability of ABxAlert® from ICNet International Ltd., a global clinical informatics company, at the 44th American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition. ABxAlert is a web-enabled application to help hospital clinicians ensure patients with suspected or identified microbial infections receive the optimized antimicrobial therapy based on real-time data. The ABxAlert system is based on antibiotic, antifungal, and antiviral best practices as described in the Antibiotic Stewardship Position Paper published jointly in January 2007 by the Infectious Disease Society of America/Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (IDSA/SHEA).
Microbial strains--fungal, viral, and bacterial--vary dramatically around the globe. The strains can also vary regionally, from one hospital to another in the same city, or even from floor to floor in the same institution. This variety has a significant impact on appropriate antibiotic or antifungal selection. Institutional information about microbial drug sensitivity, called antibiogram data, is not always immediately available to the hospital pharmacists or clinicians. An antibiotic that is effective against one strain of bacteria may not be effective against a slightly altered version of the same strain. The antibiogram information gap often results in patients receiving an antimicrobial treatment for an infection that is less than optimal.
The AbxAlert is a complement to ICNet, a web-enabled application that helps hospitals reduce medication costs through more expeditious and appropriate use of real-time microbiology diagnostic data management, surveillance and reporting. The use of the software can assist in decreasing the risk of spreading preventable infections through timelier root cause analysis once a problem has been identified.
In addition to prolonging illness and causing undue suffering, this "bug-drug" mismatch can contribute to the rising tide of antibiotic-resistant organisms such as methicillin-resistant Staphyloccus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). These resistant bacteria and other multi-drug resistant organisms are key contributors to the excessive burden of unnecessary medical costs brought on by lengthened hospital stays (6.4-12.7 days) and increased patient mortality (6.5%) within a single Chicago teaching hospital as reported in a recent study by Roberts et al. published in Clinical Infectious Diseases. The goal of good clinical practice, often called "antimicrobial stewardship," is to treat patients with the appropriate antimicrobial drug as fast as possible in order to get them off of therapy as soon as the infection has been treated.
"Clinical pharmacists are critical consultants to physicians during the process of selecting the optimal antibiotic or antifungal therapy," said Herb Steward, executive vice president and general manager of bioMerieux North America. "ICNet's ABxAlert provides pharmacists with invaluable alerts when a potential bug-drug mismatch has occurred--this has a huge potential upside for improved patient outcomes and better antibiotic stewardship."
In January of 2009, bioMerieux and ICNet Systems, Inc. entered into an exclusive referral agreement for infection prevention and case management surveillance (HAI) software made by ICNet. The ABxAlert announcement is an extension of this agreement.