Unnecessary antibiotic use leads to more than $163M in spending waste

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Research shows U.S. hospitals tend to overuse antibiotics, which can lead to severe economic implications, according to a study in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

Researchers analyzed inpatient administrative data of patients discharged from 505 nonfederal U.S. hospitals between 2008 and 2011.

Of the 505 hospitals, researchers identified "evidence of potentially inappropriate, redundant antimicrobial coverage" in 394 of them, approximately 78 percent of the hospitals. Researchers defined redundant antimicrobial usage as administering at least two agents that protect against the same organism for at least tow consecutive days during the same hospitalization. They were able to identify 23 combinations of redundant coverage.

The cost of treatment for the 17 most frequent redundant antimicrobial combinations surpassed $12.9 million for 398 hospitals between 2008 and 2011. Researchers suggest if their findings are representative of community hospital practices nationwide, the cost could exceed $163 million during the same time frame.

Researchers suggest implementing antibiotic stewardship practices can help save money as well as improve patient outcomes.

More articles on antibiotics:

Obama issues executive order to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Patient safety tool: Poster on the ABCs of antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic surveillance can reduce readmissions

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