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Antimicrobial resistance

Consultants respond positively to audit of antimicrobial prescribing

An audit and feedback programme targeting medical consultant teams on a hospital acute admissions ward has resulted in improvements in antimicrobial prescribing. Pictured, human neutrophil ingesting methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Source: National Institutes of Health (NIH) / Wikimedia Commons

Hospital-acquired infections caused by resistant bacteria are estimated to cause 25,000 deaths each year in Europe

Unnecessary antimicrobial prescribing contributes to the incidence of hospital acquired infections. These, in turn, are estimated to account for 25,000 annual hospital patient deaths in Europe.

Researchers designed an audit and feedback programme targeting medical consultant teams on a hospital acute admissions ward. Antimicrobial prescribing rates were recorded and four quality indicators measured, including whether the reason for the prescription was recorded, whether the prescription followed prescribing guidelines (or justified deviation) and whether the prescriber recorded a prompt to stop or review treatment. Feedback was given to prescribers every four months and the anonymised results compiled into a league table.

There were statistically significant improvements in all of the four indicators to varying degrees. Writing in the International Journal of Pharmacy Practice[1] on 28 January 2015, the researchers note that consultants engaged with and accepted the programme. 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20067844

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