Blood stream infections are a major cause of death worldwide with a mortality rate of 30%. Blood cultures are the most important tool for their diagnosis and as such the data on blood culture testing unlocks the details of who, what and where the infections are occuring. The data set we have access to for GovHack makes up 90% of all blood cultures in Western Australia. The goal of this project is to map out the incidence of bloodstream infections in Western Australia and regional breakdowns using the blood culture data and ABS statistics. Linking the postcodes of patients with blood stream infection to other GovHack data sets including temperature, rainfall, socioeconomic status will give us a powerful tool to look for correlations between life threatening infection and other variables.
The other priority of the GovHack is to operationalise the information to drive improvement in the outcomes of patient with infection and reduce the costs of care. The data can be converted to provide prospective feedback to front line clinicians to improve patient care.
The cost of blood culture use in WA is $3.5 million /year. The cost of care for patients with sepsis makes up 6.2% of the health budget which equates to $500m/year in Western Australia. The cost of blood culture contamination is $10,000 per patient.