image source: © UKJ A. Schroll

Targeted antibiotic therapy: SMITH Consortium starts HELP Study at Jena University Hospital

The HELP App developed by the SMITH Consortium provides medical personnel rapid information and recommendations for responsible antibiotic therapy in staphylococcal bloodstream infections. The HELP App was implemented as part of the study in mid-August at the University Hospital Jena (UKJ) and will be used at four additional participating university hospitals by the end of the year.

Any use of antibiotics can promote the development of resistance. It is therefore important to use antibiotics in a targeted and responsible manner in order to limit overuse and under-use. The focus is the balance between an appropriate reduction of antibiotics and their timely use. A prime example of this is bloodstream infections, which are a widespread problem in hospitals. Bloodstream infections including sepsis are one of the greatest challenges for diagnostics and therapy. Unjustified antibiotics usage promotes the development of resistance and in turn increases the risk of drug-related side effects.

The mobile application HELP of the SMITH Consortium serves as a digital manual for the treatment of patients with a positive staphylococci blood culture. In accordance with guidelines, the app provides the treating physicians with information on the next diagnostic and therapeutic steps and thus facilitates the work of infectious disease specialists in normal and intensive care units. In addition to a direct improvement in patient care, it also contributes indirectly to the prevention of antibiotic-related multidrug resistance and to the optimization of inpatient consultation by infectiologists. The data required for the study will be provided by the participating Data Integration Centers (DIC) in an interoperable data format based on FHIR and the core data set of the Medical Informatics Initiative (MII). The MII decided that the the international HL7 standard FHIR would be the data format in July 2019.

The university hospitals in Aachen, Essen, Halle, Jena and Leipzig are participating in the study. In the course of the study, the HELP App will be used in additional university hospitals. The SMITH locations Leipzig and Aachen will be integrated into the study next.