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DHA's new app assists providers with treating infectious diseases

Medical personnel putting gloves on The DHA’s new Antimicrobial Stewardship app expedites access to information at the point-of-care and optimize the standards of care across the MHS. The app is available for desktop or mobile device at https://mobile.health.mil/asp.

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Health care providers worldwide are challenged with navigating the amount of emerging COVID-19 information and guidance, all while caring for patients. The Defense Health Agency’s new Antimicrobial Stewardship mobile app expedites access to information at the point-of-care and supports standardization of care across the Military Health System.

The app is available for mobile or desktop device at https://mobile.health.mil/asp.

This progressive web application provides faster updates to content and function than traditional apps. Contents include general prescribing guidelines for common infectious diseases by conditions and organisms, access to facility-specific antibiograms, and useful tools such as clinical calculators, links to knowledge bases, and national organization guidelines.

Specific to COVID-19 are general clinical information, guided clinical protocols, return-to-the-workplace or release-from-quarantine information, health care provider exposure assessment, and specialty consultation contact information. Education and protocols support care in both the outpatient and inpatient settings; and updated COVID-19 triaging and testing information is included.

“The application started off as an idea in 2017 to make a mobile app displaying the local antibiogram,” said Air Force Capt. (Dr.) Kevin Loudermilk, internal medicine department, 959th Medical Group. “I connected with Dr. (Twee) Sim from the DHA Antimicrobial Stewardship Program, and the app took off. It’s the perfect platform to ensure our health care providers receive the most up-to-date information at the point-of-care, and that has been particularly true during the current pandemic.”

The app has become a resource and tool for health care providers treating patients for infectious diseases. Over a one month period the app has been used by over 1,300 providers, with an average use session lasting over 5 minutes.

“Essentially, the Antimicrobial Stewardship app provides a centralized platform for promoting standardized practice in treating infectious diseases, including COVID-19, and supports antimicrobial stewardship,” explained Sim, senior medical advisor and chief of the Office of Advanced Clinical Quality Management & Policy Analysis for the DHA. “The app gathers all the evidence-based resources in one place and is available at your fingertips. This is especially important during this pandemic, when providers may be overwhelmed by the multiple and different sources for information.”

The app also supports providers at the point-of-care with relevant guidelines and evidence-based recommendations for treatment. The information included within it has been reviewed by DHA infectious diseases providers and gives recommendations based on nationally recognized organizations such as the Infectious Diseases Society of America, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and on the DoD COVID-19 Practice Management Guide.

The app is a DHA collaboration of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program Working Group, the Solutions Delivery Division, and the Connected Health Branch.

“The Antimicrobial Stewardship App has arrived at a time when infectious diseases, like COVID-19, are significantly impacting health care,” Sim said. “The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is highlighting the continued need to provide clinicians around the world with useful, frequently updated tools to help support their work in managing care for and treating people. It is especially important since information on this novel organism and disease is rapidly evolving. This new mobile app provides timely and current recommendations to medical professionals in the management of infectious disease, including COVID-19.”

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This Practice Management Guide does not supersede DoD Policy. It is based upon the best information available at the time of publication. It is designed to provide information and assist decision making. It is not intended to define a standard of care and should not be construed as one. Neither should it be interpreted as prescribing an exclusive course of management. It was developed by experts in this field. Variations in practice will inevitably and appropriately occur when clinicians take into account the needs of individual patients, available resources, and limitations unique to an institution or type of practice. Every healthcare professional making use of this guideline is responsible for evaluating the appropriateness of applying it in the setting of any particular clinical situation. The Practice Management Guide is not intended to represent TRICARE policy. Further, inclusion of recommendations for specific testing and/or therapeutic interventions within this guide does not guarantee coverage of civilian sector care. Additional information on current TRICARE benefits may be found at www.tricare.mil or by contacting your regional TRICARE Managed Care Support Contractor.

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