In Search of Patient Zero: Visual Analytics of Pathogen Transmission Pathways in Hospitals
Tom Baumgartl, Markus Petzold, Marcel Wunderlich, Markus Höhn, Daniel Archambault, Michael Lieser, Alexander Dalpke, Simone Scheithauer, Michael Marschollek, Vanessa Eichel, Nico T. Mutters, Tatiana von Landesberger
View presentation: 2020-10-30T14:45:00Z GMT-0600 Change your timezone on the schedule page
Direct link to video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Y3fGnxKLFIM
dynamic networks, visualization applications, health, medicine, outbreak, Klebsiella, infection control
Pathogen outbreaks (i.e., outbreaks of bacteria and viruses) in hospitals can cause high mortality rates and increase costs for hospitals signiﬁcantly. An outbreak is generally noticed when the number of infected patients rises above an endemic level or the usual prevalence of a pathogen in a deﬁned population. Reconstructing transmission pathways back to the source of an outbreak – the patient zero or index patient – requires the analysis of microbiological data and patient contacts. This is often manually completed by infection control experts. We present a novel visual analytics approach to support the analysis of transmission pathways, patient contacts, progression of the outbreak, and patient timelines during hospitalization. Infection control experts applied our solution to a real outbreak of Klebsiella pneumoniae in a large German hospital. Using our system, our experts were able to scale the analysis of transmission pathways to longer time intervals (i.e., several years of data instead of days) and across a larger number of wards. Also, the system is able to reduce the analysis time from days to hours. In our ﬁnal study, feedback from twenty-ﬁve experts from seven German hospitals provides evidence that our solution brings signiﬁcant beneﬁts for analyzing outbreaks.