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The standardized antibiotic administration ratio (SAAR) enables comparison of antibiotic use (AU) within and between hospitals and identifies target locations and antimicrobials for stewardship interventions. Thousands of institutions have already been submitting AU to the National Healthcare Safety Network. We highlight the benefits and meaningful utilization of SAAR in conjunction with antimicrobial stewardship interventions to improve antimicrobial prescribing in the clinical setting.
To determine the proportion of hospitals that implemented 6 leading practices in their antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs). Design: Cross-sectional observational survey.
Advance letters and electronic questionnaires were initiated February 2020. Primary outcomes were percentage of hospitals that (1) implemented facility-specific treatment guidelines (FSTG); (2) performed interactive prospective audit and feedback (PAF) either face-to-face or by telephone; (3) optimized diagnostic testing; (4) measured antibiotic utilization; (5) measured C. difficile infection (CDI); and (6) measured adherence to FSTGs.
Of 948 hospitals invited, 288 (30.4%) completed the questionnaire. Among them, 82 (28.5%) had <99 beds, 162 (56.3%) had 100–399 beds, and 44 (15.2%) had ≥400+ beds. Also, 230 (79.9%) were healthcare system members. Moreover, 161 hospitals (54.8%) reported implementing FSTGs; 214 (72.4%) performed interactive PAF; 105 (34.9%) implemented procedures to optimize diagnostic testing; 235 (79.8%) measured antibiotic utilization; 258 (88.2%) measured CDI; and 110 (37.1%) measured FSTG adherence. Small hospitals performed less interactive PAF (61.0%; P = .0018). Small and nonsystem hospitals were less likely to optimize diagnostic testing: 25.2% (P = .030) and 21.0% (P = .0077), respectively. Small hospitals were less likely to measure antibiotic utilization (67.8%; P = .0010) and CDI (80.3%; P = .0038). Nonsystem hospitals were less likely to implement FSTGs (34.3%; P < .001).
Significant variation exists in the adoption of ASP leading practices. A minority of hospitals have taken action to optimize diagnostic testing and measure adherence to FSTGs. Additional efforts are needed to expand adoption of leading practices across all acute-care hospitals with the greatest need in smaller hospitals.
Policies that promote conversion of antibiotics from intravenous to oral route administration are considered “low hanging fruit” for hospital antimicrobial stewardship programs. We developed a simple metric based on digestive days of therapy divided by total days of therapy for targeted agents and a method for hospital comparisons. External comparisons may help identify opportunities for improving prospective implementation.
We surveyed healthcare workers within the Duke Antimicrobial Stewardship Outreach Network (DASON) to describe beliefs regarding coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination and their decision-making process behind vaccination recommendations. In contrast to the type of messaging that appealed most on a personal level to the healthcare workers, they preferred a more generic message emphasizing safety and efficacy when making vaccination recommendations.
Early administration of antibiotics in sepsis is associated with improved patient outcomes, but safe and generalizable approaches to de-escalate or discontinue antibiotics after suspected sepsis events are unknown.
We used a modified Delphi approach to identify safety criteria for an opt-out protocol to guide de-escalation or discontinuation of antibiotic therapy after 72 hours in non-ICU patients with suspected sepsis. An expert panel with expertise in antimicrobial stewardship and hospital epidemiology rated 48 unique criteria across 3 electronic survey rating tools. Criteria were rated primarily based on their impact on patient safety and feasibility for extraction from electronic health record review. The 48 unique criteria were rated by anonymous electronic survey tools, and the results were fed back to the expert panel participants. Consensus was achieved to either retain or remove each criterion.
After 3 rounds, 22 unique criteria remained as part of the opt-out safety checklist. These criteria included high-risk comorbidities, signs of severe illness, lack of cultures during sepsis work-up or antibiotic use prior to blood cultures, or ongoing signs and symptoms of infection.
The modified Delphi approach is a useful method to achieve expert-level consensus in the absence of evidence suifficient to provide validated guidance. The Delphi approach allowed for flexibility in development of an opt-out trial protocol for sepsis antibiotic de-escalation. The utility of this protocol should be evaluated in a randomized controlled trial.
Initial assessments of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) preparedness revealed resource shortages and variations in infection prevention policies across US hospitals. Our follow-up survey revealed improvement in resource availability, increase in testing capacity, and uniformity in infection prevention policies. Most importantly, the survey highlighted an increase in staffing shortages and use of travel nursing.
Background: Evidence-based hospital antimicrobial stewardship interventions, such as postprescription review with feedback, prior authorization, and handshake stewardship, involve communication between stewards and frontline prescribers. Hierarchy, asymmetric responsibility, prescribing etiquette, and autonomy can obstruct high-quality communication in stewardship. Little is known about the strategies that stewards use to overcome these barriers. The objective of this study was to identify how stewards navigate communication challenges when interacting with prescribers. Methods: We conducted semistructured interviews with antimicrobial stewards recruited from hospitals across the United States. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using a flexible coding approach and the framework method. Social identity theory and role theory were used to interpret framework matrices. Results: Interviews were conducted with 58 antimicrobial stewards (25 physicians and 33 pharmacists) from 10 hospitals (4 academic medical centers, 4 community hospitals, and 2 children’s hospitals). Respondents who felt empowered in their interactions with prescribers explicitly adopted a social identity that conceptualized stewards and prescribers as being on the “same team” with shared goals (in-group orientation). Drawing on the meaning conferred via this social role identity, respondents engaged in communication strategies to build and maintain common bonds with prescribers. These strategies included moderating language to minimize defensive recommendations when delivering stewardship recommendations, aligning the goals of stewardship with the goals of the clinical team, communicating with prescribers about things other than stewardship, compromising for the sake of future interactions, and engaging in strategic face-to-face interaction. Respondents who felt less empowered in their interactions thought of themselves as outsiders to the clinical team and experienced a heightened sense of “us versus them” mentality with the perception that stewards primarily serve a gate-keeping function (ie, outgroup orientation). These respondents expressed deference to hierarchy, a reluctance to engage in face-to-face interaction, a feeling of cynicism about the impact of stewardship, and a sense of low professional accomplishment within the role. Respondents who exhibited an in-group orientation were more likely than those who did not to describe the positive impact of stewardship mentors or colleagues on their social role identity. Conclusions: The way antimicrobial stewards perceive their role and identity within the social context of their healthcare organization influences how they approach communication with prescribers. Social role identity in stewardship is shaped by the influence of mentors and colleagues, indicating the importance of supportive relationships for the development of steward skill and confidence.
Reflex urine cultures (RUCs) have the potential to reduce unnecessary urine cultures and antibiotic use. However, urinalysis parameters that best predict true infection are unknown. In this study, we surveyed different RUC practices in laboratories across a regional network of community hospitals. Methods: We conducted a voluntary electronic survey of infection preventionists to describe laboratory practices relating to RUCs across 51 community hospitals in the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network (DICON) between May 15, 2019, and July 3, 2019. Results: We received 51 responses (response rate, 100%). Most hospital laboratories were located in North Carolina (n = 25, 49%) and Georgia (n = 18, 35%); 28 laboratories (55%) incorporated RUCs. Surveyed laboratories accepted urine samples from any source and various collection methods (eg, indwelling catheter specimens, clean catch specimens). Moreover, 24 laboratories (86%) offered RUCs for all patients, whereas 4 laboratories (14%) restricted RUCs to specific populations (ie, outpatient, emergency room or children). We observed wide variability in the urinalysis criteria used for RUCs (Table 1); 26 unique approaches were used among 28 laboratories. Also, 24 laboratories (86%) used multiple criteria and 4 (14%) used 1 criterion. Of those that used multiple criteria, all 24 proceeded to RUC if at least 1 UA criterion was met. Furthermore, 22 laboratories (79%) incorporated the presence of nitrites as a urinalysis criterion; 21 laboratories (75%) incorporated white blood cell count (WBC) as a criterion. The most frequent WBC cutoffs were “≥5” (n = 11, 39%) and “≥10” (n = 7, 25%). In addition, 21 laboratories (75%) incorporated leukocyte esterase as a urinalysis criterion, with criteria including “positive” (n = 15, 54%), “trace” (n = 4, 14%), “moderate” (n = 1, 4%), and “large” (n = 1, 4%). Also, 17 (61%) laboratories incorporated magnitude of bacteriuria as a urinalysis criterion. The cutoff ranged from “few” (n = 8, 29%), “moderate” (n = 7, 25%), to “many” (n = 2, 7%). Another 3 (11%) laboratories incorporated other criteria: presence of blood (n = 2, 7%) and presence of fungal elements (n = 1, 4%). Only 3 (11%) laboratories utilized epithelial cells as an exclusion criterion where urinalysis would not proceed to culture if epithelial cells in urinalysis samples exceeded the designated limit, ranging from “>5” to “>15”. Conclusions: More than half of the hospitals in our community hospital network utilize RUCs, but criteria varied widely. Future epidemiological research should aim to identify ideal urinalysis parameters as well as specific patient populations that safely benefit from RUC strategies.
Background: Reducing inappropriate antibiotic use is critical for fighting antibiotic resistance. Quantifying the amount and diversity of antibiotic use in US hospitals is foundational to these efforts but hampered by limited national surveillance. The current study aims to address this knowledge gap by examining adult inpatient antibiotic usage, including regional, facility, and case-mix differences, across 576 hospitals and nearly 12 million encounters in 2016–2017. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients aged ≥18 years discharged from hospitals in the Premier Healthcare Database, a repository of nearly 1 of every 4 annual US hospitalizations, between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2017. Detailed hospital- and patient-level data were extracted for each admission. Facilities were classified geographically by census division. Using daily antibiotic charge data, we mapped antibiotics to 18 mutually exclusive classes and to categories based upon spectrum of activity. Patient-level data were transformed into hospital case-mix variables (eg, hospital mean patient age), and relationships between antibiotic days of therapy (DOTs), and these and other facility-level variables were evaluated in negative binomial regression models. Results: The study included 11,701,326 adult admissions, totaling 64,064,632 patient days across 576 US hospitals. Overall, antibiotics were used in 65% of all hospitalizations, at a rate of 870 DOTs per 1,000 patient days. The most commonly used classes per patient days were
β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor combinations (206 DOTs), third- and fourth-generation cephalosporins (128 DOTs), and glycopeptides (113 DOTs) (Fig. 1). By spectrum of activity, antipseudomonal agents (245 DOTs) were the most common. Crude usage rates varied by geographic region (Fig. 2). In multivariable analyses, teaching hospitals, and/or larger bed sizes were independently associated with lower use across a range of antibiotic classes (adjusted IRR ranges, 0.90–0.94 and 0.96–0.98, respectively). Significant regional differences also persisted. Compared to the South Atlantic region (chosen as the reference category because it had the largest representation in the cohort), rates of total antibiotic use were 6%, 15%, and 18% lower on average in the Pacific, New England, and the Middle Atlantic regions, respectively. By class, carbapenems reflected the most geographic variability. Conclusions: In a large, diverse cohort of US hospitals, adult inpatients received antibiotics at a rate similar to, but higher than, previously published estimates. In adjusted models, lower antibiotic use was frequently associated with facilities likely to have robust antibiotic stewardship programs—those with teaching status and larger bed size. Further research to understand other reasons for regional differences in antibiotic use such as different rates of resistance is needed.
Funding: This work was supported by Funding: from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) (R01-HS026205 to A.D.H.).
Infectious diseases professional societies, public health agencies, and healthcare regulatory agencies call for antibiotic stewardship programs (ASP) in many healthcare settings. However, medical legal implications of these programs remain largely uncharted territory. Although there is no legal precedent addressing issues of liability and standards of care on this subject, anticipating how the courts may assess questions of medical liability with respect to the various components of ASPs is important to define best practices in ASP operations, not only to manage the potential risk but also to improve patient care. This article seeks to address some of the common processes and interventions involved in antibiotic stewardship and the potential professional liability implications of these activities.
We analyzed antibiotic use data from 29 southeastern US hospitals over a 5-year period to determine changes in antibiotic use after the fluoroquinolone US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory update in 2016. Fluoroquinolone use declined both before and after the FDA announcement, and the use of select, alternative antibiotics increased after the announcement.
Fluoroquinolones are among the 4 most commonly prescribed antibiotic classes.1,2 Postmarketing reports of serious adverse events linked to fluoroquinolones include tendonitis, neuropathy, hypoglycemia, psychiatric side effects, and possible aortic vessel rupture, leading to safety label changes in July 2008 and August 2013.3 In July 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strengthened the “black box” warning following an initial safety announcement in May 2016, recommending avoidance of fluoroquinolones for uncomplicated infections such as acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis, uncomplicated urinary tract infections, and acute bacterial sinusitis.4 Concerns over safety and the association with Clostridiodes difficile infection have led inpatient antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) to develop initiatives to promote avoidance of quinolones. The objective of this study was to quantify the effect of the 2016 FDA “black box” update on inpatient antibiotic use among a cohort of southeastern US hospitals.
To assess the feasibility of electronic data capture of postdischarge durations and evaluate total durations of antimicrobial exposure related to inpatient hospital stays.
Multicenter, retrospective cohort study.
Two community hospitals and 1 academic medical center.
Hospitalized patients who received ≥1 dose of a systemic antimicrobial agent.
We collected and reviewed electronic data on inpatient and discharge antimicrobial prescribing from April to September 2016 in 3 pilot hospitals. Inpatient antimicrobial use was obtained from electronic medication administration records. Postdischarge antimicrobial use was calculated from electronic discharge prescriptions. We completed a manual validation to evaluate the ability of electronic prescriptions to capture intended postdischarge antibiotics. Inpatient, postdischarge, and total lengths of therapy (LOT) per admission were calculated to assess durations of antimicrobial therapy attributed to hospitalization.
A total of 45,693 inpatient admissions were evaluated. Antimicrobials were given during 23,447 admissions (51%), and electronic discharge prescriptions were captured in 7,442 admissions (16%). Manual validation revealed incomplete data capture in scenarios in which prescribers avoided the electronic system. The postdischarge LOT among admissions with discharge antimicrobials was median 8 days (range, 1–360) with peaks at 5, 7, 10, and 14 days. Postdischarge days accounted for 38% of antimicrobial exposure days.
Discharge antimicrobial therapy accounted for a large portion of antimicrobial exposure related to inpatient hospital stays. Discharge prescription data can feasibly be captured through electronic prescribing records and may aid in designing stewardship interventions at transitions of care.
To determine the feasibility and value of developing a regional antibiogram for community hospitals.
Multicenter retrospective analysis of antibiograms.
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS
A total of 20 community hospitals in central and eastern North Carolina and south central Virginia participated in this study.
We combined antibiogram data from participating hospitals for 13 clinically relevant gram-negative pathogen–antibiotic combinations. From this combined antibiogram, we developed a regional antibiogram based on the mean susceptibilities of the combined data.
We combined a total of 69,778 bacterial isolates across 13 clinically relevant gram-negative pathogen–antibiotic combinations (median for each combination, 1100; range, 174–27,428). Across all pathogen–antibiotic combinations, 69% of local susceptibility rates fell within 1 SD of the regional mean susceptibility rate, and 97% of local susceptibilities fell within 2 SD of the regional mean susceptibility rate. No individual hospital had >1 pathogen–antibiotic combination with a local susceptibility rate >2 SD of the regional mean susceptibility rate. All hospitals’ local susceptibility rates were within 2 SD of the regional mean susceptibility rate for low-prevalence pathogens (<500 isolates cumulative for the region).
Small community hospitals frequently cannot develop an accurate antibiogram due to a paucity of local data. A regional antibiogram is likely to provide clinically useful information to community hospitals for low-prevalence pathogens.
Patient days and days present were compared to directly measured person time to quantify how choice of different denominator metrics may affect antimicrobial use rates. Overall, days present were approximately one-third higher than patient days. This difference varied among hospitals and units and was influenced by short length of stay.
Bloodstream infections due to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have been associated with significant risk of in-hospital mortality. The acute physiology and chronic health evaluation (APACHE) II score was developed and validated for use among intensive care unit (ICU) patients, but its utility among non-ICU patients is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the ability of APACHE II to predict death at multiple time points among ICU and non-ICU patients with MRSA bacteremia.
Retrospective cohort study.
Secondary analysis of data from 200 patients with MRSA bacteremia at 2 hospitals.
Logistic regression models were constructed to predict overall in-hospital mortality and mortality at 48 hours, 7 days, 14 days, and 30 days using APACHE II scores separately in ICU and non-ICU patients. The performance of APACHE II scores was compared with age adjustment alone among all patients. Discriminatory ability was assessed using the c-statistic and was compared at each time point using X2 tests. Model calibration was assessed using the Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit test.
APACHE II was a significant predictor of death at all time points in both ICU and non-ICU patients. Discrimination was high in all models, with c-statistics ranging from 0.72 to 0.84, and was similar between ICU and non-ICU patients at all time points. APACHE II scores significantly improved the prediction of overall and 48-hour mortality compared with age adjustment alone.
The APACHE II score may be a valid tool to control for confounding or for the prediction of death among ICU and non-ICU patients with MRSA bacteremia.
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