The Emergency Care for Infectious Diseases (EC-ID) research program led by Dr. Michael Pulia endeavors to improve infectious disease diagnosis, infection control, and antimicrobial stewardship in the emergency department (ED) and downstream care settings.
Dr. Pulia focuses on applying human factors and systems engineering principles to develop effective infection control and antibiotic stewardship interventions. His lab has active lines of research involving the most common types of infectious syndromes, specifically respiratory, urinary and skin, with recent expansion to include COVID-19.
A primary research focus is the inappropriate use of antibiotics in healthcare settings—a global public health threat due to an association with increasing rates of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. In the U.S. alone more than 35,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections. Additionally, antibiotic overuse poses a significant patient safety concern due to the risk of serious adverse drug events such as drug-drug interactions, anaphylaxis and Clostridiodes difficile colitis.
The ED increasingly functions as the de facto center of the health care system, and antibiotics prescribed in the ED have significant downstream effects in both inpatient and outpatient settings. The ED has also been identified as a clinical environment with high rates of inappropriate antibiotic use. Despite this, antibiotic stewardship research in the ED setting has been identified as a priority area for federal funding.
Given Dr. Pulia’s research focus on infectious diseases, he has taken on several studies related to COVID-19, including research to elucidate the role of biomarkers that may improve screening and antibiotic stewardship practices for patients with COVID-19 and utilize EHR-based surveillance to rapidly inform institutional response strategies.