Study: Hospital stewardship programs linked to lower antibiotic use, infections

Hospital antimicrobial stewardship programs may lower the use of antibiotics by almost 20 percent and are linked to a drop in infection rates, a new study suggests.

Researchers at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, R.I., and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston performed a meta-analysis of 26 studies to compare antibiotic use and clinical outcomes before and after ASP implementation.

After ASP implementation, hospital antimicrobial consumption across all study sites decreased by 19.1 percent and antibiotic costs dropped by 33.9 percent. While general medical wards saw a modest decrease of 12.1 percent in antimicrobial use, ICUs posted a 39.5 percent drop in antimicrobial use.

Regardless of variability in ASP implementation between hospitals, stewardship efforts resulted in lower antibiotic use, drug expenditures, infection rates and length of hospitalization.

Researchers say future studies need to focus on the sustainability of these outcomes and evaluate the potential beneficial long-term effects of ASPs in mortality and infection rates.

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