Background: Between 2007 and 2015, inpatient fluoroquinolone use declined in US Veterans’ Affairs (VA) hospitals. Whether fluoroquinolone use at discharge has also declined, in particular since antibiotic stewardship programs became mandated at VA hospitals in 2014, is unknown. Methods: In this retrospective cohort study of hospitalizations with infection between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2017, at 125 VA hospitals, we assessed inpatient and discharge fluoroquinolone (ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, and moxifloxacin) use as (1) proportion of hospitalizations with a fluoroquinolone prescribed and (2) fluoroquinolone days per 1,000 hospitalizations. After adjusting for illness severity, comorbidities, and age, we used multilevel logit and negative binomial models to assess for hospital-level variation and longitudinal prescribing trends. Results: Of 560,219 hospitalizations meeting inclusion criteria as hospitalizations with infection (Fig. 1), 209,602 of 560,219 (37.4%) had a fluoroquinolone prescribed either during hospitalization (182,337 of 560,219, 32.5%) or at discharge (110,003 of 560,219, 19.6%) (Fig. 1). Hospitals varied appreciably in inpatient, discharge, and total fluoroquinolone use, with 71% of hospitals in the highest prescribing quartile located in the southern United States. Nearly all measures of fluoroquinolone use decreased between 2014 and 2017, with the largest decreases found in inpatient fluoroquinolone and ciprofloxacin use (Fig. 2). In contrast, there was minimal decline in fluoroquinolone use at discharge (Fig. 2), which accounted for 1,433 of 2,339 (61.3%) of hospitalization-related fluoroquinolone days by 2017. Between 2014 and 2017, fluoroquinolone use decreased in VA hospitals, largely driven by a decrease in inpatient fluoroquinolone (especially ciprofloxacin) use. Fluoroquinolone prescribing at discharge, and levofloxacin prescribing overall, remain prime targets for stewardship.
Funding: This work was funded by a locally initiated project grant from the Center for Clinical Management Research at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System.
Disclosures:Valerie M. Vaughn reports contract research for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the NIH, the SHEA, and the APIC. She also reports fees from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Speaker’s Bureau, the CDC, the Pew Research Trust, Sepsis Alliance, and The Hospital and Health System Association of Pennsylvania.
Disclaimer The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the US government.