What Happened to My Baseline? Evidence-Based Care in the COVID-19 Era

By the bioMérieux Connection Editors

“Baselines are used throughout healthcare to evaluate safety, performance, and fiscal execution at the macro and micro level,” writes John Hurst, Pharm D, BCIDP and Senior Director of Antimicrobial Stewardship at bioMérieux. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we have seen drastic deviations from our historical baselines and predictions for 2020.” His article, featured in the September 2020 issue of the Thrive newsletter from the Triangle Healthcare Executives’ Forum, discusses his past experiences with directing the Antimicrobial Stewardship program at SSM Health’s St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City.

Dr. Hurst shares how flu season impacted his program’s performance metrics and why it was important to make adjustments that bring quality of care and patient outcomes to the forefront. “We began shifting goals from a utilization measurement to a quality focus around appropriate utilization and protocol adherence,” he says.

Dr. Hurst also extends the lessons learned from flu season to the COVID-19 pandemic to answer the question, “How will the multifaceted impacts of COVID-19 impact healthcare systems’ ability to set goals and monitor for deviations in safety, quality, and financial performance?” He offers insights about how hospitals and healthcare professionals can utilize diagnostics and process their data to support positive patient outcomes and better judge performance. “The central tenants of evidenced-based medicine and focusing on quality metrics will remain essential,” he writes. “While certain elements of care would be thought to be business as usual, in reality, COVID-19 has impacted everything.”

To read the full article, visit the THEF Thrive newsletter page.

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of bioMérieux, Inc.

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