Objectives: we evaluated the effect of implementation of an electronic medical record (EMR) on the use of antimicrobial agents and on the rates of infections with Clostridium difficile and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Methods: this was a retrospective, observational study conducted between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2009. Antimicrobial drug use, rates of nosocomial C. difficile infection (CDI) and MRSA infection, the number of medical charts reviewed and number of antimicrobial recommendations made and accepted were compared before and after implementing the EMR utilizing interrupted time-series analysis.
Results: compared with the 10 quarters prior to implementing the EMR, there was a 36.6% increase in the number of charts reviewed (P < 0.0001), a 98.1% increase in the number of antimicrobial recommendations made (P < 0.0001) and a 124% increase in the number of recommendations accepted (P < 0.0001). There was a 28.8% decrease in the use of 41 commonly used antibacterial agents (P < 0.0001). Nosocomial CDI decreased by 18.7% (P = 0.07) and nosocomial MRSA infections decreased by 45.2% (P < 0.0001) following implementation of the EMR.
Conclusions: adoption of an EMR facilitated a significant increase in chart reviews and antimicrobial recommendations, which resulted in a sustained decrease in antimicrobial use. There were decreased nosocomial infections with MRSA and a trend towards decreasing CDIs following implementation of the EMR.