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Nabbing infections with technology, January 6, 2009
Hershey (PA) Medical Center is now using a sophisticated computer program that serves as a watchdog for infection outbreaks. With a few mouse clicks on a Web browser, the hospital's infection-control staffers can quickly generate reports illustrating how many patients within a particular unit are infected, and which lab specimen contained the germs. Pennsylvania health officials view the technology as a critical tool for helping hospitals reduce healthcare costs by identifying potential systemic infection-control problems sooner than is possible by reviewing paper records by hand.