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To determine whether a clinician-directed acute respiratory tract infection (ARI) intervention was associated with improved antibiotic prescribing and patient outcomes across a large US healthcare system.
Multicenter retrospective quasi-experimental analysis of outpatient visits with a diagnosis of uncomplicated ARI over a 7-year period.
Outpatients with ARI diagnoses: sinusitis, pharyngitis, bronchitis, and unspecified upper respiratory tract infection (URI-NOS). Outpatients with concurrent infection or select comorbid conditions were excluded.
Audit and feedback with peer comparison of antibiotic prescribing rates and academic detailing of clinicians with frequent ARI visits. Antimicrobial stewards and academic detailing personnel delivered the intervention; facility and clinician participation were voluntary.
We calculated the probability to receive antibiotics for an ARI before and after implementation. Secondary outcomes included probability for a return clinic visits or infection-related hospitalization, before and after implementation. Intervention effects were assessed with logistic generalized estimating equation models. Facility participation was tracked, and results were stratified by quartile of facility intervention intensity.
We reviewed 1,003,509 and 323,023 uncomplicated ARI visits before and after the implementation of the intervention, respectively. The probability to receive antibiotics for ARI decreased after implementation (odds ratio [OR], 0.82; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.78–0.86). Facilities with the highest quartile of intervention intensity demonstrated larger reductions in antibiotic prescribing (OR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.59–0.80) compared to nonparticipating facilities (OR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.73–1.09). Return visits (OR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.94–1.07) and infection-related hospitalizations (OR, 1.21; 95% CI, 0.92–1.59) were not different before and after implementation within facilities that performed intensive implementation.
Implementation of a nationwide ARI management intervention (ie, audit and feedback with academic detailing) was associated with improved ARI management in an intervention intensity–dependent manner. No impact on ARI-related clinical outcomes was observed.
Background: Audit-and-feedback interventions track clinician practice patterns for a targeted practice behavior. Audit and feedback of antibiotic prescribing data for acute respiratory infections (ARI) is an effective stewardship strategy that relies on administrative coding to identify eligible visits for audit. Diagnostic shifting is the misclassification of a patient’s diagnosis in response to audit and feedback and is a potential unintended consequence of audit and feedback. Objective: To develop a method to identify patterns consistent with diagnostic shifting including both positive shifting (improved diagnosis and documentation) and negative shifting (intentionally altering documentation of diagnosis to justify antibiotic prescribing), after implementation of an audit-and-feedback intervention to improve ARI management. Methods: We evaluated the intervention effect on diagnostic shifting within 12 University of Utah pediatric clinics (293 providers). Data included 66,827 ARI diagnoses: pneumonia, sinusitis, bronchitis, pharyngitis, upper respiratory infection (URI), acute otitis media (AOM), or serous otitis with effusion (OME). To determine whether rates of ARI diagnoses changed after the intervention, we developed logistic generalized estimating equation (GEE) models with robust sandwich standard error estimates to account for clinic-wise clustering. Outcomes included the change in each ARI diagnosis relative to the competing 6 diagnoses included in audit-and-feedback reports before and after intervention implementation. Models tested for a change in outcomes after the intervention (ie, diagnostic shift) after adjustment for month of diagnosis. For each diagnosis, we estimated the population attributable fraction (PAF) for antibiotic prescriptions due to combined shifts in diagnostic frequencies and prescription rates for each diagnosis. The PAF is the estimated fraction of antibiotic prescriptions that would have changed under a population-level intervention. Results: In month-adjusted analyses, diagnoses of pneumonia and OME decreased after the intervention: odds ratio (OR), 0.46 (95% CI, 0.31–0.68) and OR, 0.81 (95% CI, 0.67–0.99), respectively. In addition, URI diagnoses increased: OR, 1.05 (95% CI 1.00, 1.11). We did not detect changes in the diagnosis rates of sinusitis, AOM, bronchitis, and pharyngitis post intervention. The intervention effect on the PAF for antibiotics prescriptions was consistently positive but relatively small in magnitude. PAF was highest for URIs (PAF, 8.87%), followed by AOM (PAF, 3.56%) and sinusitis (PAF, 2.76%), and was lowest for pneumonia and bronchitis (PAF, 0.41% for both). Conclusions: Our analysis found minimal evidence overall of diagnostic shifting after a stewardship intervention using audit and feedback in these pediatric clinics. Small changes in diagnostic coding may reflect more appropriate diagnosis and coding, a positive effect of audit and feedback, rather than intentional negative diagnostic shift.
Background: Acute respiratory infections (ARIs) are a key target to improve antibiotic use in the outpatient setting. The Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship provide a framework for improving antibiotic use, but data on safety and effectiveness of interventions to improve antibiotic use are limited. We report the impact of Core Elements implementation within Veterans’ Healthcare Administration clinics on antibiotic prescribing and patient outcomes. Methods: The intervention targeting treatment of uncomplicated ARIs (sinusitis, pharyngitis, bronchitis, and viral upper respiratory infections [URIs]) in emergency department and primary care settings was initiated within 10 sites between September 2017 and January 2018. The intervention was developed using the Core Elements and included local site champions, audit-and-feedback with peer comparison, and academic detailing. We evaluated the following outcomes: per-visit antibiotic prescribing rates overall and by diagnosis; appropriateness of treatment; 30-day ARI revisits; 30-day infectious complications (eg,, pneumonia,); 30-day adverse medication effects; 90-day Clostridium difficile infection (CDI); and 30-day hospitalizations. Multilevel logistic regression was used to calculate rate ratios (RR) with 95% CI for each outcome in the postintervention period (12 months) compared to the preintervention period (39–42 months). Results: There were 14,020 uncomplicated ARI visits before the intervention and 4,866 uncomplicated ARI visits after the intervention. The proportions of uncomplicated ARI visits with antibiotics prescribed were 59.17% before the intervention versus 44.34% after the intervention. A trend in reduced antibiotic prescribing for ARIs throughout the entire (before and after) observation period was evident (0.92; 95% CI, 0.90–0.94); however, a significant reduction in antibiotic prescribing after the intervention was identified (0.74; 95% CI, 0.59–0.93). Per-visit antibiotic prescribing rates decreased significantly for bronchitis and URI (0.54; 95% CI, 0.44–0.65), pharyngitis (0.76; 95% CI, 0.67–0.86), and sinusitis (0.92; 95% CI, 0.85–1.0). Appropriate therapy for pharyngitis increased (1.43; 95% CI, 1.21–1.68), but appropriate therapy for sinusitis remained unchanged (0.92; 95% CI, 0.85–1.0) after the intervention. Complications associated with antibiotic undertreatment were not different after the intervention: ARI-related revisit rates (1.01; 95% CI, 0.98–1.05) and infectious complications (1.01; 95% CI, 0.79–1.28). A potential benefit of improved antibiotic use included a reduction in visits for adverse medication effects (0.82; 95% CI, 0.72–0.94). Furthermore, 90-day CDI events were too sparse to model: preintervention incidence was 0.08% and postintervention incidence was 0.06%. Additionally, 30-day hospitalizations were significantly lower in the postintervention period (0.79; 95% CI, 0.72–0.87). Conclusions: Implementation of the Core Elements was safe and effective and was associated with reduced antibiotic prescribing rates for uncomplicated ARIs, improvements in diagnosis-specific appropriate therapy, visits for adverse antibiotic effects, and 30-day hospitalization rates. No adverse events were noted in ARI-related revisit rates or infectious complications. CDI rates were low and unchanged.
Background: The Press Ganey (PG) Medical Practice Survey is a commonly used questionnaire for measuring patient experience in healthcare. Our objective was to evaluate the PG surveys completed by caregivers of children presenting for urgent care evaluation of acute respiratory infections (ARIs) to determine any correlation with receipt of antibiotics during their visit. Methods: We evaluated responses to the PG urgent-care surveys for encounters of children <18 years presenting with ARIs (ie, sinusitis, bronchitis, pharyngitis, upper respiratory infection, acute otitis media, or serous otitis media with effusion) within 9 University of Utah urgent-care centers. Scores could range from 0 to 100. Because the distributions of scores followed right- skewed distribution with a high ceiling effect, we defined scores as dissatisfied with their care (≤25th percentile) and satisfied with their care (scores >25th percentile). Univariate and multivariable generalized mixed-effects logistic regression was used to assess correlates of patient dissatisfaction. Random intercepts were included for each provider to account for correlation within the same provider. Separate models were used for each PG component score. Multivariable models adjusted for receipt of antibiotics, age, gender, race, ethnicity, and provider type. Results: Overall, 388 of 520 responses (74.6%) indicated satisfaction and 132 responses (25.4%) indicated dissatisfaction. Among patients who did not receive antibiotics, 87 of 284 responses (30.6%) indicated dissatisfaction versus 45 of 236 (19.1%) who did receive antibiotics. Among patients who were dissatisfied with their clinician, raw clinician PG scores were higher among patients who received antibiotics (mean, 64.5; standard deviation [SD], 16.9) versus those who did not receive antibiotics (mean, 54.7; SD, 24.4; P = .015) (Table 1). In a multivariable analysis, receipt of antibiotics was associated with a reduction in patient dissatisfaction overall (odds ratio, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.36–0.85). Conclusions: Overall, most responses for patients seen for ARIs in pediatric urgent care were satisfied. However, a significantly higher proportion of responses for patients who did not receive antibiotics were dissatisfied than for those patients who received antibiotics. Antibiotic stewardship strategies to communicate appropriate prescribing while preserving patient satisfaction are needed in pediatric urgent-care settings.
Background: The Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship provide a framework to improve antibiotic use, but cost-effectiveness data on interventions to improve antibiotic use are limited. Beginning in September 2017, an antibiotic stewardship intervention was launched in within 10 outpatient Veterans Healthcare Administration clinics. The intervention was based on the Core Elements and used an academic detailing (AD) and an audit and feedback (AF) approach to encourage appropriate use of antibiotics. The objective of this analysis was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the intervention among patients with uncomplicated acute respiratory tract infections (ARI). Methods: We developed an economic simulation model from the VA’s perspective for patients presenting for an index outpatient clinic visit with an ARI (Fig. 1). Effectiveness was measured as quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). Cost and utility parameters for antibiotic treatment, adverse drug reactions (ADRs), and healthcare utilization were obtained from the published literature. Probability parameters for antibiotic treatment, appropriateness of treatment, antibiotic ADRs, hospitalization, and return ARI visits were estimated using VA Corporate Data Warehouse data from a total of 22,137 patients in the 10 clinics during 2014–2019 before and after the intervention. Detailed cost data on the development of the AD and AF materials and electronically captured time and effort for the National AD Service activities by specific providers from a national ARI campaign were used as a proxy for the cost estimate of similar activities conducted in this intervention. We performed 1-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses (PSAs) using 10,000 second-order Monte Carlo simulations on costs and utility values using their means and standard deviations. Results: The proportion of uncomplicated ARI visits with antibiotics prescribed (59% vs 40%) was lower and appropriate treatment was higher (24% vs 32%) after the intervention. The intervention was estimated to cost $110,846 (2018 USD) over a 2-year period. Compared to no intervention, the intervention had lower mean costs ($880 vs $517) and higher mean QALYs (0.837 vs 0.863) per patient because of reduced inappropriate treatment, ADRs, and subsequent healthcare utilization, including hospitalization. In threshold analyses, the antibiotic stewardship strategy was no longer dominant if intervention cost was >$64,415,000 or the number of patients cared for was <3,672. In the PSA, the antibiotic stewardship intervention was dominant in 100% of the 10,000 Monte Carlo iterations (Fig. 2). Conclusions: In every scenario, the VA outpatient AD and AF antibiotic stewardship intervention was a dominant strategy compared to no intervention.
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