For Immediate Release: March 30, 2017
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
Contact: Kristy Weinshel / 703-684-1008  / kweinshel@shea-online.org

SHEA Awards Grant to Study Complications from Home-Based Antibiotic Therapy

Johns Hopkins researcher to use patient-centered research methods to improve patients’ self-care

St. Louis, MO (March 30, 2017) – As part of the 2017 Epi Project Competition, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America Education and Research Foundation will fund research to identify human risk factors for complications from central venous catheters for patients who are self-administering at-home IV antibiotics. Sara Keller, MD, MPH, MSHP, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital, was honored with the early investigator award at SHEA’s Spring 2017 Conference in St. Louis, MO.

“Improving the transition from the hospital to the home is critical. As patients and caregivers are providing more direct care, the field must consider how to best translate infection prevention guidelines for use in the home, while maintaining patient safety,” said Nasia Safdar, MD, Chair of the SHEA Research Committee. “Dr. Keller and other early investigators in the field are using their insight to evolve healthcare epidemiology and improve care in real-world settings.”

Keller will use human factors engineering principles and methods to complete a proactive risk assessment to identify ways in which Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy (OPAT) patients might be put at risk from central venous catheters in the home. OPAT – in which patients and their caregivers infuse parenteral antimicrobial therapy through central venous catheters – is a complicated home-based therapy received by 480,000 patients yearly. These patients are at risk of catheter complications, such as central line-associated bloodstream infection, 30-day readmission to the hospital, adverse drug events, and infection relapse.

In the study, Keller and her team will use innovative patient-centered research methods to learn why these complications occur, and how to prevent them, by learning how patients and their caregivers actually perform day-to-day catheter care. This will fill critical gaps in knowledge around how patients and caregivers perform home-based therapies and will make OPAT safety a patient-centered process.

The study proposal was selected from a competitive pool of five finalists in the SHEA Epi Project Competition. The competition was created to encourage future leaders in the field to shape the understanding of transmission, prevention and implementation of improvements in infection prevention and control. The competition is designed to identify and support new healthcare epidemiology research initiatives that align with SHEA's Research Agenda. As 2017 Epi-Project winner, Keller will receive a grant award up to $20,000 from the SHEA Research and Education Foundation for her project.

“Through the SHEA Epi Project proposals, we see the strength of the future leaders in healthcare epidemiology. Their drive toward improving outcomes and creating a safer, healthier future for all is inspiring and SHEA is proud to be able to support their efforts,” said Lona Mody, MD, MSc, Chair of the SHEA Epi Project Competition.

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The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) is a professional society representing more than 3,000 physicians and other healthcare professionals around the world who possess expertise and passion for healthcare epidemiology, infection prevention, and antimicrobial stewardship. The society’s work improves public health by establishing infection-prevention measures and supporting antibiotic stewardship among healthcare providers, hospitals, and health systems. This is accomplished by leading research studies, translating research into clinical practice, developing evidence-based policies, optimizing antibiotic stewardship, and advancing the field of healthcare epidemiology. SHEA and its members strive to improve patient outcomes and create a safer, healthier future for all. Visit SHEA online at www.shea-online.org, www.facebook.com/SHEApreventingHAIs and @SHEA_Epi.