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Executive Summary

HOSPITAL ANTIBIOTIC INFORMATION SYSTEM WILL BE AVAILABLE IN JANUARY from the Association for Hospital Medical Education (AHME), the organization's president, William Minogue, MD, announced at an Aug. 28 press conference in Washington. The multicomponent information program, titled "Antibiotic Management System" (AMS), covers "establishment of authoritative clinical guidelines, collection and analysis of data on antibiotic use, monitoring and control of antibiotic costs, and program implementation," Minogue said. Elements of the program are being put together by three task forces set up by AHME: one developing clinical guidelines, one developing a data system for monitoring antibiotic use practices in the hospitals, and one developing an implementation manual. Development of the program was primarily funded by Roche. Minogue said that AMS will be self-sustaining via a $250 maintenance and update charge to hospitals choosing to participate in the program. Citing the need for a comprehensive information program for hospital antibiotic use, Minogue explained that AMS "is designed to correct" problems such as "the prolonged use of antibiotics in many patients, sometimes associated with toxicity and other side effects and possibly contributing to the problem of nosocomial (hospital-acquiredj infections; mounting costs of antibiotic therapy; and the threatened loss of accreditation by a third to a half of all U.S. hospitals for failure to satisfy JCAH ]Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals[ standards for antibiotic review." One of the key elements of the AMS program is the clinical guidelines manual, which "provides hospitals with a critical appraisal of the medical literature dealing with antibiotics," according to Thomas Beam, MD, Buffalo Medical Center, chairman of the task force developing the guidelines. "The guidelines provide hospitals with recommendations for prophylactic, empiric, and therapeutic use of antibiotics," Beam explained. "The efficacy, toxicity, and cost of these agents have all been given consideration in reaching recommended conclusions." Explaining the data collection and analysis component of AMS, Minogue said that participating hospitals would use a computerized system to help "monitor antibiotic use and cost, and take corrective measures." Utilizing an IBM software program, the hospitals will have a "self-contained analysis system so they can manage the massive information" on antibiotic use within the hospital. The AMS program is currently undergoing a six-month pilot test in six U.S. hospitals, the results of which will be included in the implementation manual.

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