A multidisciplinary team approach allows dangerous contaminants to be quickly identified, treated and contained before they spread and cause more harm.
September 16, 2022 – The microbiology and research lab at Tampa General Hospital was recently named a Global Center of Excellence by bioMérieux, a leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics (IVD). The award recognizes achievements in managing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and advancing those initiatives. bioMérieux considered 33 variables before making its selection, including communication, originating breakthroughs in best practices and research.
“We know that the work we do in the lab is a key part of the continuum of care our patients receive at TGH,” said Angela Lauster, senior administrative laboratory director at Tampa General. “Especially, during this time of a global pandemic, it is an honor to have our hard work recognized in this way by a trusted partner like bioMérieux.”
The multidisciplinary team addressing AMR at Tampa General is made up of infectious disease physicians and pharmacists, microbiology, infection prevention, information technologies and hospital staff. By using the latest equipment and software, potentially dangerous organisms can be identified in minutes and, when necessary, even sequenced to determine their molecular makeup, virulence and antibiotic resistance. From there, an appropriate medical course of action is recommended which translates into a faster, targeted treatment and better recovery for the patient and containment of spread.
“Our program excels because we actually make sure we have the appropriate tools to analyze the test results and apply that information to maximize patient outcomes versus just running tests. We also identify genetic-related antimicrobial resistant organisms to control their spread,” said Dr. Suzane Silbert, scientific director of esoteric testing, research and development and microbiology laboratories at Tampa General. “These results make a real difference inside and outside the hospital and as technology improves, the outcomes will only continue to improve.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates more than 3 million Americans acquire an antimicrobial-resistant infection each year and up to 50,000 of those victims will die. AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medication, making infections more difficult or even impossible to treat. Misuse and overuse of antimicrobials are the main drivers in the development of these drug-resistant pathogens.
For the infection prevention team at Tampa General, early detection of a potentially dangerous or contagious contaminant is key to minimizing the spread and protecting patients and team members. “Our lab produces results so quickly. It gives our team a huge advantage over other facilities,” said Kim Atrubin, director of infection prevention at Tampa General Hospital. “Once we know certain bacteria is present in the hospital, we can move the affected patient into isolation and enact our standard infection prevention protocols to keep other patients and team members safe.”
ABOUT TAMPA GENERAL HOSPITAL
Tampa General Hospital, a 1,040-bed, not-for-profit, academic medical center, is one of the largest hospitals in America and delivers world-class care as the region’s only center for Level l trauma and comprehensive burn care. Tampa General Hospital is the highest-ranked hospital in the market in U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-23 Best Hospitals, and is tied as the third highest-ranked hospital in Florida, with seven specialties ranking among the best programs in the United States. Tampa General Hospital has been designated as a model of excellence by the 2022 Fortune/Merative 100 Top Hospitals list. The academic medical center’s commitment to growing and developing its team members is recognized by two prestigious Forbes magazine rankings – first nationally in the 2022 America’s Best Employers for Women and sixth out of 100 Florida companies in the 2022 America’s Best Employers by State. Tampa General is the safety net hospital for the region, caring for everyone regardless of their ability to pay, and in fiscal year 2020, provided a net community benefit worth more than $182.5 million in the form of health care for underinsured patients, community education, and financial support to community health organizations in Tampa Bay. It is one of the nation’s busiest adult solid organ transplant centers and is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. With six medical helicopters, Tampa General Hospital transports critically injured or ill patients from 23 surrounding counties to receive the advanced care they need. Tampa General houses a nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center, and its 32-bed Neuroscience, Intensive Care Unit is the largest on the West Coast of Florida. It also is home to the Jennifer Leigh Muma 82-bed Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, and a nationally accredited rehabilitation center. Tampa General Hospital’s footprint includes 17 Tampa General Medical Group Primary Care offices, TGH Family Care Center Kennedy, TGH Brandon Healthplex, TGH Virtual Health, and 21 TGH Imaging powered by Tower outpatient radiology centers throughout Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and Palm Beach counties. Tampa Bay area residents also receive world-class care from the TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track network of clinics, and they can even receive home visits in select areas through TGH Urgent Care at Home, powered by Fast Track. As one of the largest hospitals in the country, Tampa General Hospital is the first in Florida to partner with GE Healthcare and open a clinical command center that provides real-time situational awareness to improve and better coordinate patient care at a lower cost. For more information, go to www.tgh.org.
A world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics since 1963, bioMérieux is present in 45 countries and serves more than 160 countries with the support of a large network of distributors. In 2021, revenues reached €3.4 billion, with over 90% of sales outside of France. bioMérieux provides diagnostic solutions (systems, reagents, software and services) which determine the source of disease and contamination to improve patient health and ensure consumer safety. Its products are mainly used for diagnosing infectious diseases. They are also used for detecting microorganisms in agri-food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.