Intelligent antibiotics management



The right medication at the right time administered to the right patient at the lowest cost.

That basically summarizes the computerized prescription antimicrobials monitoring system developed by Louis Valiquette, professor of microbiology and infectiology at Université de Sherbrooke.

The intelligent system has a proven track record: 20% fewer days of antibiotics treatment, over $300,000 in annual savings on drug costs.

Implemented in the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS) since 2010, the intelligent system has a proven track record: 20% fewer days of antibiotics treatment, over $300,000 in annual savings on drug costs and shorter hospital stays. This success led to the creation of Lumed, a firm in which Louis Valiquette serves as medical director. The aim is to promote the technology in health centres across Québec and eventually on international markets.

It was the 2003–2004 Clostridium difficile crisis that incited Valiquette, a researcher at the Centre de recherche du CHUS, to find a better way to oversee the administration of antibiotics that foster C. Difficile bacterial infections. In collaboration with Froduald Kabanza, a computer science professor in the faculty of science at Université de Sherbrooke, and the CHUS pharmacy department, Valiquette designed an expert system that relies on optimization algorithms to assess antibiotics prescriptions, document medical interventions, generate medication consumption reports and suggest improvements for specific patient files. By analyzing the clinical signs of patients hospitalized in acute care settings, the software is able to recommend approaches such as dose adjustments and the use of oral rather than intravenous treatment options.

The expertise developed as part of the project is now helping to set out intelligent health care solutions. A team is currently working on adapted software to ensure the optimal administration of medications in morbidly obese patients and those in intensive care units.