Beyond compliance: Senior living operator tackles infections, antibiotic use with proprietary tech

By McKnight Senior Living | Alicia Lasek | July 18, 2022

Senior woman holding pills selection in her hands, close-up.

McKnight Senior Living, July 18, 2022 — Proprietary software has helped senior living provider Ecumen to curb antibiotic use and halt viral outbreaks across 300 skilled nursing facilities. Now, the company is expanding the technology’s use to its assisted living facilities and other providers it services, it announced Friday.

The Shoreview, MN-based company began rolling out the first version of its Peerlytics Infection Management & ABX Stewardship software in 2018. The program has brought $2,000 savings on antibiotic drugs per 100-bed facility (estimated from the lowest-cost antibiotic), according to Brett Anderson, RN, chief ecosystem and operations officer. And it has helped care providers reduce the duration of time patients are on antibiotic therapy, he said.

Providers also have reported an estimated 25% and 40% reduction in staff hours spent tracking trending infections, eliminating survey deficiencies in infection control and antibiotic stewardship regulation. The software’s use is now in the pilot phase in Ecumen assisted living communities and in three external AL communities that it serves.

“We would anticipate the same savings in the assisted living provider space,” Anderson told McKnight’s Senior Living. The software is customizable, and Ecumen also has seen interest from a memory care facility that wishes to reduce resources spent managing urinary tract infections, he noted.

Search for stewardship solutions

The importance of antibiotic stewardship has continued to grow as bacteria increasingly find ways to outwit the drugs meant to keep them in check, close observers say. Widespread use of antibiotics during the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to a 15% spike in deaths tied to antibiotic-resistant superbugs from 2019 to 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported.

Meanwhile, long-term care facility residents are highly vulnerable to severe outcomes from such infections. And provider interest in infection management tools has grown since the advent of COVID-19, Anderson told McKnight’s.  [read the full story here].