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Using data to reduce surgical infections


The Wall Street Journal reports that the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has dramatically reduced the rate of surgical infections by ”using predictive analytics,” with the infection rate for  colon-surgery patients falling 58 percent over a two-year period.

Using such data as  information from ”the patient’s medical records and specifics of the surgery itself such as patient vital signs during the operation, the University of Iowa can predict which patients are likely to face the biggest risk of infection. Before those patients leave the operation room, doctors can create a plan to reduce that risk whether that’s altering medication or using different techniques in treating the wound,”  the newspaper reported.

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