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To understand barriers and facilitators to evidence-based prescribing of antibiotics in the outpatient dental setting.
Outpatient dental setting.
Dentists from 40 Veterans’ Health Administration (VA) facilities across the United States.
Dentists were identified based on their prescribing patterns and were recruited to participate in a semistructured interview on perceptions toward prescribing. All interviews were recorded, transcribed, and double-coded for analysis, with high reliability between coders. We identified general trends using the theoretical domains framework and mapped overarching themes onto the behavior change wheel to identify prospective interventions that improve evidence-based prescribing.
In total, 90 dentists participated in our study. The following barriers and facilitators to evidence-based prescribing emerged as impacts on a dentist’s decision making on prescribing an antibiotic: access to resources, social influence of peers and other care providers, clinical judgment, beliefs about consequences, local features of the clinic setting, and beliefs about capabilities.
Findings from this work reveal the need to increase awareness of up-to-date antibiotic prescribing behaviors in dentistry and may inform the best antimicrobial stewardship interventions to support dentists’ ongoing professional development and improve evidence-based prescribing.
To detail the activities of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative and evaluate outcomes of the program.
The VHA is a large integrated healthcare system serving approximately 6 million individuals annually at more than 140 medical facilities.
Utilization of nationally developed resources, proportional distribution of antibiotics, changes in stewardship practices and patient safety measures were reported. In addition, inpatient antimicrobial use was evaluated before and after implementation of national stewardship activities.
Nationally developed stewardship resources were well utilized, and many stewardship practices significantly increased, including development of written stewardship policies at 92% of facilities by 2015 (P<.05). While the proportional distribution of antibiotics did not change, inpatient antibiotic use significantly decreased after VHA Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative activities began (P<.0001). A 12% decrease in antibiotic use was noted overall. The VHA has also noted significantly declining use of antimicrobials prescribed for resistant Gram-negative organisms, including carbapenems, as well as declining hospital readmission and mortality rates. Concurrently, the VHA reported decreasing rates of Clostridium difficile infection.
The VHA National Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative includes continuing education, disease-specific guidelines, and development of example policies in addition to other highly utilized resources. While no specific ideal level of antimicrobial utilization has been established, the VHA has shown that improving antimicrobial usage in a large healthcare system may be achieved through national guidance and resources with local implementation of antimicrobial stewardship programs.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2017;38:513–520
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