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      Sustained Reductions in Overall and Unnecessary Antibiotic Prescribing at Primary Care Clinics in a Veterans Affairs Healthcare System Following a Multifaceted Stewardship Intervention

      1 , 2 , 3 , 1 , 3 , 1
      Clinical Infectious Diseases
      Oxford University Press (OUP)

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          Abstract

          Background

          Most antibiotic prescribing is in outpatient settings. However, antibiotic stewardship has focused overwhelmingly on hospitalized patients. In a few studies, behavioral interventions decreased unnecessary outpatient prescribing against acute respiratory infections, but data are conflicting on sustained benefits after intervention discontinuation.

          Methods

          We conducted a prospective, observational study in 7 primary care clinics, in which an intervention comprised of clinician education, peer comparisons, and computer decision support order sets was directed against all antibiotic prescribing. After 6 months, peer comparisons were discontinued. Antibiotic prescribing was compared in the baseline (January–June 2016), intervention (January–June 2017), and postintervention (January–June 2018) periods.

          Results

          Mean antibiotic prescriptions significantly decreased from 76.9 (baseline) to 49.5 (intervention) and 56.3 (postintervention) per 1000 visits (35.6% and 26.8% reductions, respectively; P values < .001). The rate of unnecessary antibiotic prescribing (ie, antibiotic not indicated) decreased from 58.8% (baseline) to 37.8% (intervention) and 44.3% (postintervention) (35.7% and 24.7% decreases, respectively; P = .001 and P = .01). Overall, 19.9% (27/136), 36.6% (66/180), and 34.9% (67/192) of antibiotics were prescribed optimally (ie, antibiotics were indicated, and a guideline-concordant agent was prescribed for guideline-concordant duration) during the baseline, intervention, and postintervention periods, respectively (baseline vs intervention and postintervention, P = .001 and P = .003, respectively). Differences between intervention and postintervention periods in overall, unnecessary, or optimal antibiotic prescribing were not significant.

          Conclusions

          A multifaceted outpatient stewardship intervention achieved reductions in overall, unnecessary, and suboptimal antibiotic prescription rates, which were sustained for a year after components of the intervention were discontinued. There is opportunity for further improvement, as inappropriate and suboptimal prescribing remained common.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Clinical Infectious Diseases
          Oxford University Press (OUP)
          1058-4838
          1537-6591
          December 09 2019
          December 09 2019
          Affiliations
          [1 ]Infectious Diseases Section, Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
          [2 ]Division of Infectious Diseases, Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
          [3 ]Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
          Article
          10.1093/cid/ciz1180
          31813965
          3dc0f1fe-f15b-4c21-bdd1-802ce9cd2768
          © 2019
          History

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