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As part of a project to implement antimicrobial dashboards at select facilities, we assessed physician attitudes and knowledge regarding antibiotic prescribing.
An online survey explored attitudes toward antimicrobial use and assessed respondents’ management of four clinical scenarios: cellulitis, community-acquired pneumonia, non–catheter-associated asymptomatic bacteriuria, and catheter-associated asymptomatic bacteriuria.
This study was conducted across 16 Veterans’ Affairs (VA) medical centers in 2017.
Physicians working in inpatient settings specializing in infectious diseases (ID), hospital medicine, and non-ID/hospitalist internal medicine.
Scenario responses were scored by assigning +1 for answers most consistent with guidelines, 0 for less guideline-concordant but acceptable answers and −1 for guideline-discordant answers. Scores were normalized to 100% guideline concordant to 100% guideline discordant across all questions within a scenario, and mean scores were calculated across respondents by specialty. Differences in mean score per scenario were tested using analysis of variance (ANOVA).
Overall, 139 physicians completed the survey (19 ID physicians, 62 hospitalists, and 58 other internists). Attitudes were similar across the 3 groups. We detected a significant difference in cellulitis scenario scores (concordance: ID physicians, 76%; hospitalists, 58%; other internists, 52%; P = .0087). Scores were numerically but not significantly different across groups for community-acquired pneumonia (concordance: ID physicians, 75%; hospitalists, 60%; other internists, 56%; P = .0914), for non–catheter-associated asymptomatic bacteriuria (concordance: ID physicians, 65%; hospitalists, 55%; other internists, 40%; P = .322), and for catheter-associated asymptomatic bacteriuria (concordance: ID physicians, 27% concordant; hospitalists, 8% discordant; other internists 13% discordant; P = .12).
Significant differences in performance regarding management of cellulitis and low overall performance regarding asymptomatic bacteriuria point to these conditions as being potentially high-yield targets for stewardship interventions.
To determine the frequency and predictors of antibiotic escalation in response to the inpatient sepsis screen at our institution.
Retrospective cohort study.
Two affiliated academic medical centers in Los Angeles, California.
Hospitalized patients aged 18 years and older who had their first positive sepsis screen between January 1, 2019, and December 31, 2019, on acute-care wards.
We described the rate and etiology of antibiotic escalation, and we conducted multivariable regression analyses of predictors of antibiotic escalation.
Of the 576 cases with a positive sepsis screen, antibiotic escalation occurred in 131 cases (22.7%). New infection was the most documented etiology of escalation, with 76 cases (13.2%), followed by known pre-existing infection, with 26 cases (4.5%). Antibiotics were continued past 3 days in 17 cases (3.0%) in which new or existing infection was not apparent. Abnormal temperature (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 3.00; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.91–4.70) and abnormal lactate (aOR, 2.04; 95% CI, 1.28–3.27) were significant predictors of antibiotic escalation. The patient already being on antibiotics (aOR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.34–0.89) and the positive screen occurred during a nursing shift change (aOR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.22–0.57) were negative predictors. Pneumonia was the most documented new infection, but only 19 (50%) of 38 pneumonia cases met full clinical diagnostic criteria.
Inpatient sepsis screening led to a new infectious diagnosis in 13.2% of all positive sepsis screens, and the risk of prolonged antibiotic exposure without a clear infectious source was low. Pneumonia diagnostics and lactate testing are potential targets for future stewardship efforts.
Antibiotic prescribing practices across the Veterans’ Health Administration (VA) experienced significant shifts during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. From 2015 to 2019, antibiotic use between January and May decreased from 638 to 602 days of therapy (DOT) per 1,000 days present (DP), while the corresponding months in 2020 saw antibiotic utilization rise to 628 DOT per 1,000 DP.
We describe a widespread laboratory surveillance program for severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) at an integrated medical campus that includes a tertiary-care center, a skilled nursing facility, a rehabilitation treatment center, and temporary shelter units. We identified 22 asymptomatic cases of SARS-CoV-2 and implemented infection control measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission in congregate settings.
In preparation for a multisite antibiotic stewardship intervention, we assessed knowledge and attitudes toward management of asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) plus teamwork and safety climate among providers, nurses, and clinical nurse assistants (CNAs).
Prospective surveys during January–June 2018.
All acute and long-term care units of 4 Veterans’ Affairs facilities.
The survey instrument included 2 previously tested subcomponents: the Kicking CAUTI survey (ASB knowledge and attitudes) and the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ).
A total of 534 surveys were completed, with an overall response rate of 65%. Cognitive biases impacting management of ASB were identified. For example, providers presented with a case scenario of an asymptomatic patient with a positive urine culture were more likely to give antibiotics if the organism was resistant to antibiotics. Additionally, more than 80% of both nurses and CNAs indicated that foul smell is an appropriate indication for a urine culture. We found significant interprofessional differences in teamwork and safety climate (defined as attitudes about issues relevant to patient safety), with CNAs having highest scores and resident physicians having the lowest scores on self-reported perceptions of teamwork and safety climates (P < .001). Among providers, higher safety-climate scores were significantly associated with appropriate risk perceptions related to ASB, whereas social norms concerning ASB management were correlated with higher teamwork climate ratings.
Our survey revealed substantial misunderstanding regarding management of ASB among providers, nurses, and CNAs. Educating and empowering these professionals to discourage unnecessary urine culturing and inappropriate antibiotic use will be key components of antibiotic stewardship efforts.
Antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) are variably implemented.
To characterize variations of antimicrobial stewardship structure and practices across all inpatient Veterans Affairs facilities in 2012 and correlate key characteristics with antimicrobial usage.
A web-based survey regarding stewardship activities was administered to each facility’s designated contact. Bivariate associations between facility characteristics and inpatient antimicrobial use during 2012 were determined.
Total of 130 Veterans Affairs facilities with inpatient services.
Of 130 responding facilities, 29 (22%) had a formal policy establishing an ASP, and 12 (9%) had an approved ASP business plan. Antimicrobial stewardship teams were present in 49 facilities (38%); 34 teams included a clinical pharmacist with formal infectious diseases (ID) training. Stewardship activities varied across facilities, including development of yearly antibiograms (122 [94%]), formulary restrictions (120 [92%]), stop orders for antimicrobial duration (98 [75%]), and written clinical pathways for specific conditions (96 [74%]). Decreased antimicrobial usage was associated with having at least 1 full-time ID physician (P=.03), an ID fellowship program (P=.003), and a clinical pharmacist with formal ID training (P=.006) as well as frequency of systematic patient-level reviews of antimicrobial use (P=.01) and having a policy to address antimicrobial use in the context of Clostridium difficile infection (P=.01). Stop orders for antimicrobial duration were associated with increased use (P=.03).
ASP-related activities varied considerably. Decreased antibiotic use appeared related to ID presence and certain select practices. Further statistical assessments may help optimize antimicrobial practices.
Aspiration is the introduction of oropharyngeal or gastric contents into the respiratory tract. Three major syndromes may develop as a consequence of aspiration: chemical pneumonitis, bronchial obstruction secondary to aspiration of particulate matter, and bacterial aspiration pneumonia. Less commonly, interstitial lung disease occurs in persons with chronic aspiration. Which of these consequences emerges is determined by the amount and nature of the aspirated material as well as by the integrity of host defense mechanisms.
The term aspiration pneumonia refers to the infectious consequences of introduction of relatively large volumes of oral material into the lower airways (macroaspiration). Although healthy persons frequently aspirate small volumes of pharyngeal secretions during sleep, the development of pneumonia after such microaspiration is normally prevented by mechanical (e.g., cough and mucociliary transport) and immunologic responses. Pneumonia arises when these host defenses are not able to limit bacterial proliferation either because of microaspiration of highly virulent pathogens to which the host lacks specific immunity (e.g., Streptococcus pneumoniae or enteric gram-negative bacteria) or because of macroaspiration of large quantities of organisms that may not necessarily be highly virulent.
Aspiration may be clinically obvious, as when acute pulmonary complications follow inhalation of vomited gastric contents. Such acute chemical pneumonitis, representing damage to lung parenchyma by highly acidic gastric contents, is often referred to as Mendelson’s syndrome. On the other extreme, so-called silent aspiration, as occurs in persons with neurologic impairment who lack cough responses, is often followed by the indolent onset of infectious pneumonia consequent to contamination of the lower airways by low virulence mixtures of aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms from the oropharynx.