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To examine the perspectives of caregivers that are not part of the antibiotic stewardship program (ASP) leadership team (eg, physicians, nurses, and clinical pharmacists), but who interact with ASPs in their role as frontline healthcare workers.
Qualitative semistructured interviews.
The study was conducted in 2 large national healthcare systems including 7 hospitals in the Veterans’ Health Administration and 4 hospitals in Intermountain Healthcare.
We interviewed 157 participants. The current analysis includes 123 nonsteward clinicians: 47 physicians, 26 pharmacists, 29 nurses, and 21 hospital leaders.
Interviewers utilized a semistructured interview guide based on the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR), which was tailored to the participant’s role in the hospital as it related to ASPs. Qualitative analysis was conducted using a codebook based on the CFIR.
We identified 4 primary perspectives regarding ASPs. (1) Non-ASP pharmacists considered antibiotic stewardship activities to be a high priority despite the added burden to work duties: (2) Nurses acknowledged limited understanding of ASP activities or involvement with these programs; (3) Physicians criticized ASPs for their restrictions on clinical autonomy and questioned the ability of antibiotic stewards to make recommendations without the full clinical picture; And (4) hospital leaders expressed support for ASPs and recognized the unique challenges faced by non-ASP clinical staff.
Further understanding these differing perspectives of ASP implementation will inform possible ways to improve ASP implementation across clinical roles.
We explored experiences and perceptions surrounding the Self-Stewardship Time-Out Program (SSTOP) intervention across implementation sites to improve antimicrobial use. Semistructured qualitative interviews were conducted with Antibiotic Stewardship physicians and pharmacists, from which 5 key themes emerged. SSTOP may serve to achieve sustainable promotion of antibiotic use improvements.
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 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.