Norton Healthcare pharmacy recognized for speedy application of antibiotics for especially dangerous infections

The Norton Healthcare pharmacy department has been recognized with a prestigious award for its efforts to speed antibiotics to patients with bacterial infections that have spread to the bloodstream.

The American Society of Health System Pharmacists awarded a Best Practices Award to the Norton Healthcare rapid bacteremia response protocol.

As part of the Norton Healthcare Antimicrobial Stewardship Program efforts, the rapid bacteremia response protocol designates the pharmacy as the principal resource to get effective antibiotic treatment to patients faster. The protocol also incorporates rapid bacteria identification technology from the microbiology lab.

Implementation of this protocol reduced the average time from the moment a bloodstream infection is identified in a patient to when antibiotics are administered. A process that had taken about 10 hours was cut to 51 minutes. Improvements also were seen in antimicrobial optimization, repeat blood culture rates and prompt patient isolation in multidrug-resistant organism infections.

The award recognizes pharmacists who demonstrate leadership and innovation in enhancing patient care. Of the 77 clinical programs that applied for the award, only six in the country were honored.

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