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Hospitals, tech platform team up against antimicrobial resistance

Children's Hospital Colorado, Denver Health and Firstline work to 'revolutionize' infectious disease guidance
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AURORA – In a move coinciding with Antimicrobial Awareness Week, two Colorado healthcare giants have joined forces with Firstline to lead the charge against antimicrobial resistance (AMR) across the state.  

Children's Hospital Colorado and Denver Health have contracted with the technology platform, that is dedicated to expediting the dissemination of expert clinical knowledge to healthcare providers.

The alliance places a focus on pediatrics, an area that has historically lacked expert guidance, the hospitals said in a news release.

They say Firstline’s technology breaks the barriers to accessing expert-led and localized guidance for infectious diseases, antibiotic dosing, and critical pathogen information.

Access to this expertise is especially crucial in rural or limited-resource settings that may lack established guidelines, they say.

“We believe that the clinician at the point of care should have the best tools, and the expert local knowledge they need to make the best treatment decisions,” said Dr. Michael Long, chief clinical officer with Firstline.

Here's how Firstline improves access to vital adult and pediatric information from Children’s Hospital Colorado and Denver Health:

  • Antibiotic Dosing: Children’s Hospital Colorado’s ID guidance on Firstline features an expanded collection of antibiotic dosing information for children – a demographic that frequently poses a dosing challenge for healthcare providers accustomed to treating adults.

  • Pathogen Information: Firstline allows both Colorado hospitals to easily share essential and updated information on pathogens, including local susceptibility data, with doctors and healthcare workers in communities across the state. 

  • Diagnostic and Treatment Pathways: Clinical pathways simplify the processes for managing infectious diseases, such as symptom identification and diagnostic test selection. These pathways foster informed and confident treatment decisions. They serve as a comprehensive guide for healthcare providers in determining the appropriate treatment for common infectious diseases. Firstline’s technology allows both Colorado hospitals to improve the accessibility of these pathways by delivering them on a mobile platform, making them easy to reference at the point of care.

The initial rollout of evidence-based, local guidance at Children’s Hospital Colorado has yielded promising results, evidenced by a reduction in antibiotic usage, according to the hospitals.

For example, updated pneumonia treatment guidelines were implemented – replacing the decade-old 10-day regimen with a five-day antimicrobial treatment course.

This change has the potential to not only minimize adverse reactions often associated with prolonged antibiotic use but also represents a pivotal step in addressing drug shortages, the hospitals said. 

They said a decrease in antibiotic usage offers hope for the successful impact of this collaboration when this expert guidance is disseminated into the hands of every Colorado healthcare provider.

Their overarching goal, said the hospitals, is to enhance the knowledge base across the state, particularly among healthcare providers in rural communities, and increase access to life-saving pediatric treatment recommendations. 

"Our partnership, aimed at sharing specialized knowledge with healthcare providers who may have varying levels of experience in diagnosing children or updated treatment recommendations for all patients, represents a significant stride in healthcare advancement," says Dr. Sarah Parker, medical director of antimicrobial stewardship at Children’s Colorado.

“The ability to disseminate this vital information to the broader Colorado medical community, including those serving rural areas, allows us to support these communities and the excellent work they do to care for the children and adults in Colorado."