Antimicrobial Use Appropriateness

Angie Szumlinski Health, Studies

Optimizing antimicrobial use is critical to slowing the spread of resistant pathogens. In 2014, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called for acute care hospitals to implement antimicrobial stewardship programs with the goal of improving antimicrobial use to optimize infection cur rates and minimize harms.

Efforts to evaluate antimicrobial stewardship programs’ effect on hospital antimicrobial use typically focus on volume rather than prescribing quality; it is not clear whether the volume of antimicrobial use correlates with appropriateness. Few recent, large studies have addressed inpatient antimicrobial prescribing quality. Comparing the results of this study to other studies is difficult because different approaches to data collection and different definitions of inappropriate or unnecessary prescribing of antimicrobials were used.

Lack of signs and symptoms of infection was a common reason for unsupported antimicrobial use among patients receiving UTI treatment. Recently updated guidelines have addressed the problem of inappropriate treatment of asymptomatic bacteria. Despite efforts to discourage treatment for asymptomatic bacteriuria, a large percentage of patients receiving UTI treatment lacked documented signs and symptoms of infection. Now is the time to change this practice, please discuss these findings with your medical director and attending physicians. It isn’t surprising, we are still on a learning curve but let’s work together and do the right things! Stay tuned, roll up your sleeve and stay tuned!