Contact tracing with a real-time location system: A case study of increasing relative effectiveness in an emergency department

Thomas R. Hellmich, Casey M. Clements, Nibras El-Sherif, Kalyan S Pasupathy, David M. Nestler, Andy Boggust, Vickie K. Ernste, Gomathi Marisamy, Kyle R. Koenig, Susan Hallbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Contact tracing is the systematic method of identifying individuals potentially exposed to infectious diseases. Electronic medical record (EMR) use for contact tracing is time-consuming and may miss exposed individuals. Real-time location systems (RTLSs) may improve contact identification. Therefore, the relative effectiveness of these 2 contact tracing methodologies were evaluated. Methods: During a pertussis outbreak in the United States, a retrospective case study was conducted between June 14 and August 31, 2016, to identify the contacts of confirmed pertussis cases, using EMR and RTLS data in the emergency department of a tertiary care medical center. Descriptive statistics and a paired t test (α = 0.05) were performed to compare contacts identified by EMR versus RTLS, as was correlation between pertussis patient length of stay and the number of potential contacts. Results: Nine cases of pertussis presented to the emergency department during the identified time period. RTLS doubled the potential exposure list (P < .01). Length of stay had significant positive correlation with contacts identified by RTLS (ρ = 0.79; P = .01) but not with EMR (ρ = 0.43; P = .25). Conclusions: RTLS doubled the potential pertussis exposures beyond EMR-based contact identification. Thus, RTLS may be a valuable addition to the practice of contact tracing and infectious disease monitoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2017

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Contact Tracing
Computer Systems
Hospital Emergency Service
Whooping Cough
Electronic Health Records
Length of Stay
Tertiary Care Centers
Disease Outbreaks
Communicable Diseases
Retrospective Studies

Keywords

  • Infectious disease
  • Pertussis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Contact tracing with a real-time location system : A case study of increasing relative effectiveness in an emergency department. / Hellmich, Thomas R.; Clements, Casey M.; El-Sherif, Nibras; Pasupathy, Kalyan S; Nestler, David M.; Boggust, Andy; Ernste, Vickie K.; Marisamy, Gomathi; Koenig, Kyle R.; Hallbeck, Susan.

In: American Journal of Infection Control, 2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hellmich, Thomas R. ; Clements, Casey M. ; El-Sherif, Nibras ; Pasupathy, Kalyan S ; Nestler, David M. ; Boggust, Andy ; Ernste, Vickie K. ; Marisamy, Gomathi ; Koenig, Kyle R. ; Hallbeck, Susan. / Contact tracing with a real-time location system : A case study of increasing relative effectiveness in an emergency department. In: American Journal of Infection Control. 2017.
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