Methodist Hospital Infection Prevention

The Methodist Hospital has launched a pilot program that's using high technology to help doctors prevent infections people may get while they're in the hospital. Houston Public Radio's Jim Bell explains.

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Infections people get while in a hospital are a problem everywhere. Methodist Hospital has vast amounts of information on infections and anti-biotics in its computer databases, but getting it quickly was time consuming, until now. Methodist is now using new data-mining technology to search out information, in much the same way a search engine digs information up on the Internet. Vice President for Operations Doctor Thinh Tran says often there are patterns of infections, and finding patterns quickly gives doctors a leg up on treating them.

"The only way to do that....................more effectively."

Dr. Tran says data-mining software called MedMined will get important information into the hands of doctors so they can identify which anti-biotic will stop an infection.

"And this new technology ....................more effective."

Methodist is one of a number of hospitals around the country that are testing the new data-mining program. The goal is to reduce the time spent tracking down information, which will reduce the cost of care. The project is co-sponsored by Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Texas, which has a financial interest in helping hospitals cut costs. Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.