Randy Loftus, MD, is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine.
Dr. Loftus has received national and international recognition for his expertise regarding the epidemiology of intraoperative bacterial transmission. In the last 10 years he has made great contributions to science as is reflected in a solid body of published evidence, and in the following personal statement:
Despite the status quo of hospital-wide infection control measures, HAIs continue to affect 4-10% of patients admitted to hospitals today. Bacterial organisms have also evolved to acquire enhanced bacterial virulence, transmission, and drug resistance traits, making HAIs increasingly difficult to treat. These factors have contributed to the spread of dangerous bacteria from acute care settings to healthy members of our community. In response, national organizations such as the White House, Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization have recently (9/2014) called for hospital-wide improvements in infection control that extend beyond antibiotic use to improvements in basic preventive measures such as hand hygiene, environmental cleaning, patient decolonization and surveillance.
I have spent the last 10 years addressing this agenda in the OR environment where up to 7% of patients suffer from one or more HAIs and 3-5% percent of patients suffer from surgical site infections (SSIs).
My long-term goal is to nationally disseminate a best practice for perioperative infection control that involves a dynamic, multi-level, laboratory based surveillance system for ESKAPE bacteria. This system leverages an innovative software platform that brings genomic analysis to the patient bedside in order to improve basic preventive measures. My overall objective is to implement this system across 10 academic centers of excellence that will serve as the foundation for national dissemination. My central hypothesis is that program implementation will significantly reduce ESKAPE spread and associated HAIs (SSIs-superficial and deep) among patients undergoing cardiothoracic, orthopedic, gynecology/oncology, and colorectal surgery, a hypothesis that is established on a solid foundation of 10 years of published data.
I have already utilized this work to improve patient outcomes in the OR and intensive care unit environments. The rationale for this work is that if hospitals can be empowered to continually understand the epidemiology of transmission of dangerous bacteria in a given environment, then proactive steps can be taken to mitigate that transmission. As bacterial transmission events are reduced, then HAIs will undoubtedly fall. Addressing intraoperative ESKAPE transmission is the logical next step for my work, and RDB Bioinformatics has created the essential platform.
Over ten years of expertise in this arena, the successful establishment of basic science laboratories at two major academic medical centers and the successful execution of multiple basic science, translational, and clinical trial projects qualify me to lead this critically important RDB Bioinformatics initiative.