Antibiotic surveillance can reduce readmissions

While antibiotic stewardship programs have long been noted to reduce the rate of antibiotic use, they may also reduce the rate of readmission due to infection, according to research presented at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy and covered by Medscape.

Researchers analyzed a six-month antibiotic stewardship program in four geriatric wards at a hospital in Sweden and compared its results to those from a temporally matched control period the previous year when physicians were prescribing antibiotics solely based on clinical guidelines.

Most patient outcome measures showed no significant differences, such as mortality, 28-day readmission, adverse events or length of stay. However, readmission rates due to infection were significantly lower in the stewardship program group than the control group, at 4 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively.

Furthermore, patients in the stewardship group experienced a 27 percent reduction in overall antibiotic use.

"This was a noninferiority study, so we were able to show that we achieved a reduction in antibiotics without compromising patient safety," said Fredrik Resman, MD, lead investigator of the study, in the Medscape report. "It's hard to show benefit, but you at least need to show noninferiority because you have to show that patients are not getting sicker or dying as a result of fewer antibiotics."

More articles on antibiotic stewardship:

11M+ unnecessary antibiotics prescribed to children each year
IDSA launches U.S. Stakeholder Forum on Antimicrobial Resistance
Study: Concern over clinical impact of antibiotic resistance found to be lacking in residential aged care facilities

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