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To examine how individual steward characteristics (eg, steward role, sex, and specialized training) are associated with their views of antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) implementation at their institution.
Descriptive survey from a mixed-methods study.
Two large national healthcare systems; the Veterans’ Health Administration (VA) (n = 134 hospitals) and Intermountain Healthcare (IHC; n = 20 hospitals).
We sent the survey to 329 antibiotic stewards serving in 154 hospitals; 152 were physicians and 177 were pharmacists. In total, 118 pharmacists and 64 physicians from 126 hospitals responded.
The survey was grounded in constructs of the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research, and it assessed stewards’ views on the development and implementation of antibiotic stewardship programs (ASPs) at their institutions We then examined differences in stewards’ views by demographic factors.
Regardless of individual factors, stewards agreed that the ASP added value to their institution and was advantageous to patient care. Stewards also reported high levels of collegiality and self-efficacy. Stewards who had specialized training or those volunteered for the role were less likely to think that the ASP was implemented due to a mandate. Similarly volunteers and those with specialized training felt that they had authority in the antibiotic decisions made in their facility.
Given the importance of ASPs, it may be beneficial for healthcare institutions to recruit and train individuals with a true interest in stewardship.
Acute respiratory tract infections (ARIs) are commonly diagnosed and major drivers of antibiotic prescribing. Clinician-focused interventions can reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescribing for ARIs. We elicited clinician feedback to design sustainable interventions to improve ARI management by understanding the mental framework of clinicians surrounding antibiotic prescribing within Veterans’ Health Administration clinics.
We conducted one-on-one interviews with clinicians (n = 20) from clinics targeted for intervention at 5 facilities. The theory of planned behavior guided interview questions. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed for qualitative analysis. An iterative coding approach identified 6 themes.
Emergent themes: (1) barriers to appropriate prescribing are multifactorial and include challenges of behavior change; (2) antibiotic prescribing decisions are perceived as autonomous yet, diagnostic uncertainty and perceptions of patient demand can make prescribing decisions difficult; (3) clinicians perceive variation in peer prescribing practices and influences; (4) clinician-focused interventions are valuable if delivered with sensitivity; (5) communication strategies for educating patients are preferred to a shared decisions process; and (6) team standardization of practice and communication are key to facilitate appropriate prescribing. Clinicians perceived audit-and-feedback with peer comparison, academic detailing, and enhanced patient communication strategies as viable approaches to improving appropriate prescribing.
Implementation strategies that enable clinicians to overcome diagnostic uncertainty, perceived patient demand, and improve patient education are desired. Implementation strategies were welcomed, and some were more readily accepted (eg, audit feedback) than others (eg, shared decision making). Implementation strategies should address clinicians’ perceptions of antibiotic prescribing practices and should enhance their patient communication skills.