Over 5-year period, antimicrobial stewardship programs in the US saved hospitals $732 per patient

A study published in Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control examined the economic and clinical impact of antimicrobial stewardship programs.

Researchers conducted a search within the EMBASE and Medline databases to find primary research studies in English, published between Sept. 30, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2017. They identified 146 studies that evaluated patient and/or economic outcomes after implementation of hospital antimicrobial stewardship programs, including length of stay, antimicrobial use and total costs.

The studies were conducted in North America (49 percent), Europe (25 percent), Asia (14 percent), Africa (3 percent), South America (3 percent) and Australia (3 percent). Most of the studied were conducted in hospitals with 500 to 1,000 beds.

Researchers found after the implementation of antimicrobial stewardship programs, 85 percent of the studied reviewed showed a decrease in length of stay and 92 percent showed a decrease in antibiotic expenditure.

The review of the studies also showed that mean cost savings varied by hospital size and region after antimicrobial stewardship program implementation. Among U.S.-based studies, average cost savings were approximately $732 per patient, with Europe showing similar trends. The reduction in length of stay was the main driver of cost savings.

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