With more than 65 years in the healthcare sector, José de Mello Saúde (JMS) is a benchmark company in Portugal.
With 5000 members of staff, this private healthcare group currently manages five hospitals, including two public/private partnerships, as well as five health clinics and fourteen imaging units.
Hepic (First’s Information System designed for the surveillance of healthcare-associated infections) is going to be implemented in JMS. The JMS Group includes Hospitals in the cities of Braga and Vila Franca de Xira, as well as the CUF health units (CUF Descobertas, CUF Infante Santo, CUF Porto, CUF Cascais and CUF Torres Vedras). In the CUF health units, First intends to implement a multi-entity solution, thus allowing surveillance per Hospital and per Group.
With this solution, the HAI (Healthcare-Associated Infection) control committee of each hospital has an innovative tool that will monitor in real-time the infections associated with healthcare, issue warnings about microorganisms and their resistance, and monitor the consumption of antimicrobials. The system will support the entire workflow of one of the most important tasks within a hospital, the epidemiological surveillance and control, associated with treatment by antimicrobials.
Hepic supports the major information systems of each hospital, such as HIS (Hospital Information System), the Laboratory of Microbiology and Serology, nursing and pharmacy, allowing all information useful for epidemiological surveillance to be automatically accessible.
According to Carlos Cordeiro, Director of Operations at First and Project Manager, "Hospitals had manual monitoring procedures. Besides being time-consuming for staff, these procedures were slow, particularly in indicator output.
The absence of a computerized, automated process made it impossible to perform procedures in real-time, reducing data reliability and consequently affecting clinical treatments.”
With Hepic, hospitals will be able to do continuous real-time monitoring of the processes associated with the epidemiological surveillance of pathogenic microorganisms, HAIs and consumption of antibiotics, in accordance with the latest standards of the Portuguese General Health Administration. «This allows the hospitals to identify infections in real-time and to act as quickly as possible, in order to prevent or minimize the impacts of microorganisms spreading and possible outbreaks of hospital infections" says Carlos Cordeiro.
Another main advantage of this solution is the ability to generate online indicators, without intervention from the members of the HAI control committee, which translates into significant time savings until information output.
Carlos Cordeiro explains that “reducing the impact of infections on public health, via a more rapid preventive action, translates into gains for hospitals and patients", because lowering the rate of infection will reduce the number of hospital admissions and more prolonged treatments, as well as the cost of medications and the use of human resources. The public image of the hospitals is also improved, since “the investment in epidemiological surveillance processes allows for more security guarantees in healthcare for patients", Carlos Cordeiro concludes.
The Chairman and CEO of First Group, José Correia de Sousa, says that "this project is very important, since it is the largest integrated project of epidemiological surveillance ever implemented nationally. This illustrates the relevance that Hepic is gathering when responding to the current needs of an integrated management of infection control, asserting itself as the most appropriate solution in both the public and private sectors."
The majority of the Portuguese Healthcare Public/Private Partnerships are already equipped with First’s solution for infection control.
This project will incorporate the current directives of the Portuguese General Health Administration on surveillance of HAIs and antimicrobial resistance.