Merck & Co is working a major US hospital provider on a new software system that could help tackle the threat from healthcare-associated infections, the leading HAI: C. diff. infections.
The pharma company’s deal with Premier will see the partners develop and test the combination of a software-based platform and a coordinator to provide surveillance, consultation, support and education to patients with Clostridium difficile infection (C. diff).
Sam Bozzette, MD, chief scientist of Premier’s retrospective and interventional research division Premier Applied Sciences, said: “By increasing clinician and patient knowledge of this often prolonged, and sometimes deadly infection, and developing and testing a software-based application to help reduce the recurrence of C. diff. infection by improving follow-up and management, we believe there is a strong potential to make a real difference to address this critical public health problem.”
Sam Bozzette, MD, PhD, vice president and chief scientist of its retrospective and interventional research division, Premier Applied Sciences. An internationally-recognized researcher and physician executive, Dr. Bozzette provides strategic clinical, analytical and operational direction to further grow the Premier Applied Sciences research business and improve the overall quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of care. “Dr. Bozzette is a leader in medical and social sciences, and has more than 25 years of experience working with academic and non-profit healthcare providers to improve clinical decision-making practices, care delivery efficiency and effectiveness, and population health management,” said Leigh Anderson, chief information officer at Premier. “We are thrilled to have him on board to lead Premier’s data-driven research efforts to set new standards in care delivery through strategic partnerships with healthcare industry leaders across the U.S.”
Premier Applied Sciences, formerly known as Premier Research Services, combines data and analytics with objective clinical outcomes analyses, and partnerships with health systems, life sciences companies, academic institutions and professional societies to develop, teach, test and research care delivery practices and real-world interventions for healthcare improvement. It offers real-world research and analytics, retrospective research, healthcare education, clinical trial innovation and data licensing services.
The work expands Merck’s chronic disease work with Premier, which has seen them co-develop and test solutions that help promote wellness and prevention for specific groups of at-risk patients since 2016.
Raquel Tapia, associate VP, hospital/specialty marketing at Merck, said: “Combining the technical capabilities of Premier and the therapeutic area expertise of Merck has been instrumental in our ability to address these difficult healthcare challenges.
“By testing the solutions in real-world settings and learning from our growing knowledge base, we’re confident that our work together will help patients.”
The partners’ goal is to increase patient access to healthcare services, raise awareness of how to decrease patient risk of recurrence and help patients identify if they are having a recurrence.
The proposed C. diff software intervention will be tested within volunteer Premier member health systems. The firm current has an alliance of around 3,900 US hospitals and health systems and a further 150,000 or so healthcare providers and organizations.
C. diff infections cause serious and life-threatening diarrhea and have become one of the most common microbial cause of healthcare-associated infections in US hospitals. It’s thought that C. diff infections affect approximately half a million people and add $4.8 billion to US healthcare costs each year.