Data visualization tool linked to drop in antibiotic therapy

When clinicians can use data to compare their antibiotic use with antibiotic use at comparable facilities, their antibiotic use decreases, a study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases revealed.

Researchers studied the effects of implementing data visualization tools at eight Veterans Affairs inpatient hospitals across the country. The tools included an interactive web-based antibiotic dashboard and access to a standardized antibiotic usage report. The tools were implemented in 2016. The researchers also compared antibiotic use at the facilities that implemented the tools with 118 facilities that did not implement them.

They found that facilities that used the tools saw a 2.1 percent decrease in total antibiotic use after the implementation, compared to a 2.5 percent increase in antibiotic use at facilities that did not use the tools.

Also, facilities that used the tool also saw a 11.3 percent drop in antibiotics used to treat methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus compared to a 6.6 percent decrease at facilities that did not use tools.

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