Only 'most intensive' stewardship programs effectively lower total antibiotic use

A study, published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, assessed the effectiveness of implementing antibiotic stewardship programs in Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare's 15 small hospitals.

Researchers divided the hospitals into three groups. They implemented antibiotic stewardship programs of escalating intensity at each group of hospitals.

• Group 1 received basic antibiotic stewardship education and tools as well as access to an infectious disease hotline and antibiotic utilization data
• Group 2 hospitals received those interventions in addition to advanced education, audit and feedback for select antibiotics and locally controlled antibiotic restrictions
• Group 3 hospitals received all the interventions for group 2 as well as audit and feedback on the majority of antibiotics; additionally, an infectious diseases-trained clinician approved restricted antibiotics and reviewed microbiology results

The study shows hospitals in group 3 experienced reductions in total and broad-spectrum antibiotic use during the intervention period as compared to the baseline period. Hospitals in groups 1 and 2 did not experience a reduction in antibiotic use.

"Only the most intensive ASP intervention was associated with reduction in total and broad-spectrum antibiotic use when compared with baseline," study authors wrote.

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