June 25, 2015
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Facility’s antimicrobial stewardship reduces antibiotic use by 59%

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A long-term pediatric health care facility cut its use of antibiotics by more than half by substituting other medications to treat conditions where antimicrobials were not expressly warranted, according to data to be presented at the annual conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology in Nashville, Tennessee.

“Our children suffer from many chronic health conditions, and any way that we can reduce the potential for antibiotic resistance will be beneficial for them in the long run,” Olivia Jackson, RN, infection control coordinator at the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center in Yonkers, New York, said in a press release.

Jackson and her colleagues initiated a 6-month antibiotic stewardship pilot program in April 2014 when they realized that certain antibiotics were being overprescribed and used for longer durations than necessary. One such medication was mupirocin, a topical ointment that was being administered in some cases to treat noninfectious skin rashes, cuts and scrapes, according to the release. “While this is a pilot program, it is clear that we can make a sizable impact by getting our health care providers to really think about why they are prescribing antibiotics and whether they are necessary,” Jackson said.

Olivia Jackson

The 137-bed facility moved to an electronic medical records system, which helped the organization keep better records of what antibiotics physicians were prescribing and for what conditions, as well as the appropriate duration for treatment, according to the release.

From the second quarter to the third quarter of 2014, use of mupirocin at the pediatric center decreased 59%, and prescriptions written for antibiotics without indication dipped 83%, Jackson and colleagues wrote. Additionally, all orders for mupirocin during September were for appropriate indications.

“The implementation of an electronic medical record in September 2014 likely facilitated documentation as it forced clinicians to indicate their diagnosis,” the researchers wrote. “Additional parameters for antimicrobial stewardship should be implemented and studied to determine the long-term effects of the program.” – by David Jwanier

Reference:

Jackson O. Abstract 82176. For presentation at the Annual Conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology; June 27-29, 2015; Nashville, Tennessee.

Disclosure: Infectious Disease News was unable to confirm relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.