Researchers Detail Implementation of an Antimicrobial Stewardship Program

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Antimicrobial stewardship has been promoted as a key strategy for coping with the problems of antimicrobial resistance and Clostridium difficile. Despite the current call for stewardship in community hospitals, including smaller community hospitals, practical examples of stewardship programs are scarce in the reported literature. Storey, et al. (2012) describe the implementation of an antimicrobial stewardship program on the medical-surgical service of a 100-bed community hospital employing a core strategy of post-prescriptive audit with intervention and feedback.

For one hour twice weekly, an infectious diseases physician and a clinical pharmacist audited medical records of inpatients receiving systemic antimicrobial therapy and made non-binding, written recommendations that were subsequently scored for implementation. Defined daily doses (DDDs; World Health Organization Center for Drug Statistics Methodology) and acquisition costs per admission and per patient-day were calculated monthly for all administered antimicrobial agents.
 
The antimicrobial stewardship team (AST) made one or more recommendations for 313 of 367 audits during a 16-month intervention period (September 2009 -- December 2010). Physicians implemented recommendation(s) from each of 234 (75 percent) audits, including from 85 of 115 for which discontinuation of all antimicrobial therapy was recommended. In comparison to an eight-month baseline period (January 2009 -- August 2009), there was a 22 percent decrease in defined daily doses per 100 admissions (P = .006) and a 16% reduction per 1000 patient-days (P = .013). There was a 32 percent reduction in antimicrobial acquisition cost per admission (P = .013) and a 25 percent acquisition cost reduction per patient-day (P = .022).
 
The researchers conclude that an effective antimicrobial stewardship program was implemented with limited resources on the medical-surgical service of a 100-bed community hospital. Their research was published in Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control.

Reference: Storey DF, et al. Implementation of an antimicrobial stewardship program on the medical-surgical service of a 100-bed community hospital. Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control 2012, 1:32. doi:10.1186/2047-2994-1-32.

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