These technologies can be used to detect whether a patient is carrying a certain type of bacteria. Advanced screening technologies can provide sophisticated and rapid test findings before (e.g. during pre-admission consultation) or on admission. This can help to reduce infection rates in patients during the medical intervention, facilitate appropriate use of antibiotics avoid contaminating other patients and staff.
Interventions such as CRP point-of-care testing can help promote a more prudent use of antibiotics. Use of CRP point-of-care tests have been shown to significantly reduce antibiotic prescribing for lower respiratory tract infections without compromising either patients' recovery or satisfaction with care.
Acute pharyngitis constitutes a frequent cause of visits and prescribing of antibiotics in primary healthcare facilities (Maltezou, H.C. et al., 2008). Although Strep A is the cause in only 15% - 30% of cases, antibiotics are prescribed in 55% - 75% of cases (Maltezou, H.C. et al., 2008). Rapid testing for Strep A enables healthcare providers to accurately diagnose the cause of pharyngitis and thereby guide targeted use of antibiotics in any healthcare setting.
These procedures are essential to decrease the number of microbes in the area close to the patient. It is also crucial to put in place personal protective barriers (e.g. gloves, gown) to prevent healthcare workers from carrying bacteria to other patients.
Substantial reductions in Catheter-related bloodstream infections can be achieved with the aid of advanced medical technologies together with complementary improved practices. These include integrated safety catheter systems and closed IV access together with associated care and maintenance.
Hypothermia can occur as an adverse effect of surgical procedures and it is a significant risk factor for developing Surgical Site Infections (SSIs). The use of active patient warming techniques during the procedure is proven to significantly reduce the rate of these infections from developing.
Sterilisation of invasive devices is key in avoiding infections. Low temperature sterilisation protects delicate instruments and ensures functionality. Increasing automation of high level disinfection processes does ensure consistent outcomes and minimises risks.
Dressings are important to maintain sterility and absorb blood and serum from wounds. Advanced dressings containing barriers to protect the wound site from bacteria as well as antimicrobial wound care products can contribute to improving patient recovery.
Appropriate use of antibiotics can be enabled at home by ehealth/mhealth and other drug monitoring technologies. Misuse and non-adherence to antibiotic prescriptions are one of the key causes of the development of resistance.
Preventing Surgical Site Infections (one of the most common Healthcare Associated Infections) by reducing the suture being a risk factor for infection. This is achieved through significantly decreasing the adherence of bacteria to the suture itself. The use of triclosan-coated sutures may limit the need for antibiotics (due to the SSI risk reduction) by up to 30% (Wang ZX, et al., 2013).
The petri dish image is for illustrative purposes only, zone of inhibition testing results can vary
Antibiotic susceptibility tests help identify which antibiotic(s) will the bacterial infection respond to and which ones are they resistant to. This in turn helps the physician to prescribe the appropriate drug to treat the patient and avoid misuse.
The use of special tubes can enable clinicans to manage subglottic secretion drainage (SSD), which is a technique to remove oral and/or gastric secretions that contain bacterial pathogens and may lead to serious complications known as VAP- Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (lung infection). Clinical investigation by Bouza et al. (2008) into the use of an edotracheal tube providing SSD found reduced anticbiotic use in overal patient population by 30% due to reduced rates of VAP.
Such surveillance systems play a key role in helping to conserve and steward the effectiveness of existing treatments as well as supporting infection control practices, by allowing clinicians to monitor infection scenarios and prescribing through providing bespoke triggers. By bringing together information from disparate sources, the system notifies practitioners of important/ critical infection related events and this aids clinicians in making targeted and timely interventions that prevent and control infections and encourage the appropriate use of antibiotics in order to impact positively on patient outcomes.