[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 2009, the Scottish government issued a target to reduce Clostridium difficile infection by 30% in 2 years. Consequently, Scottish hospitals changed from cephalosporins to gentamicin for surgical antibiotic prophylaxis. This study examined rates of postoperative AKI before and after this policy change. The study population comprised 12,482 adults undergoing surgery (orthopedic, urology, vascular, gastrointestinal, and gynecology) with antibiotic prophylaxis between October 1, 2006, and September 30, 2010 in the Tayside region of Scotland. Postoperative AKI was defined by the Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes criteria. The study design was an interrupted time series with segmented regression analysis. In orthopedic patients, change in policy from cefuroxime to flucloxacillin (two doses of 1 g) and single-dose gentamicin (4 mg/kg) was associated with a 94% increase in AKI (P=0.04; 95% confidence interval, 93.8% to 94.3%). Most patients who developed AKI after prophylactic gentamicin had stage 1 AKI, but some patients developed persistent stage 2 or stage 3 AKI. The antibiotic policy change was not associated with a significant increase in AKI in the other groups. Regardless of antibiotic regimen, however, rates of AKI were high (24%) after vascular surgery, and increased steadily after gastrointestinal surgery. Rates could only be ascertained in 52% of urology patients and 47% of gynecology patients because of a lack of creatinine testing. These results suggest that gentamicin should be avoided in orthopedic patients in the perioperative period. Our findings also raise concerns about the increasing prevalence of postoperative AKI and failures to consistently measure postoperative renal function.
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN. 05/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Study objectives were to investigate the prevalence and causes of prescribing errors amongst foundation doctors (i.e. junior doctors in their first (F1) or second (F2) year of post-graduate training), describe their knowledge and experience of prescribing errors, and explore their self-efficacy (i.e. confidence) in prescribing.
A three-part mixed-methods design was used, comprising: prospective observational study; semi-structured interviews and cross-sectional survey. All doctors prescribing in eight purposively selected hospitals in Scotland participated. All foundation doctors throughout Scotland participated in the survey. The number of prescribing errors per patient, doctor, ward and hospital, perceived causes of errors and a measure of doctors' self-efficacy were established.
4710 patient charts and 44,726 prescribed medicines were reviewed. There were 3364 errors, affecting 1700 (36.1%) charts (overall error rate: 7.5%; F1:7.4%; F2:8.6%; consultants:6.3%). Higher error rates were associated with : teaching hospitals (p<0.001), surgical (p = <0.001) or mixed wards (0.008) rather thanmedical ward, higher patient turnover wards (p<0.001), a greater number of prescribed medicines (p<0.001) and the months December and June (p<0.001). One hundred errors were discussed in 40 interviews. Error causation was multi-factorial; work environment and team factors were particularly noted. Of 548 completed questionnaires (national response rate of 35.4%), 508 (92.7% of respondents) reported errors, most of which (328 (64.6%) did not reach the patient. Pressure from other staff, workload and interruptions were cited as the main causes of errors. Foundation year 2 doctors reported greater confidence than year 1 doctors in deciding the most appropriate medication regimen.
Prescribing errors are frequent and of complex causation. Foundation doctors made more errors than other doctors, but undertook the majority of prescribing, making them a key target for intervention. Contributing causes included work environment, team, task, individual and patient factors. Further work is needed to develop and assess interventions that address these.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e79802. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: AIMS: Explore and compare junior doctors' perceptions of their self-efficacy in prescribing, their prescribing errors and the possible causes of those errors. METHODS: A cross-sectional questionnaire study was distributed to foundation doctors throughout Scotland, based on Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory and Human Error Theory (HET). RESULTS: 548 questionnaires were completed (35.0% of the national cohort). F1s estimated a higher daytime error rate (median 6.7 (IQR 2-12.4)) than F2s (4.0 IQR (0-10) (p=0.002)), calculated based on the total number of medicines prescribed. The majority of self-reported errors (250; 49.2%) resulted from unintentional actions. Interruptions and pressure from other staff were commonly cited causes of errors. F1s were more likely to report insufficient prescribing skills as a potential cause of error than F2s (p= 0.002). The prescribers did not believe that the outcomes of their errors were serious. F2s reported higher self-efficacy scores than F1s in most aspects of prescribing (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: Foundation doctors were aware of their prescribing errors, yet were confident in their prescribing skills and apparently complacent about the potential consequences of prescribing errors. Error causation is multi-factorial often due to environmental factors, but with lack of knowledge also contributing. Thereforeinterventions are needed at all levels, including environmental changes, improving knowledge, providing feedback and changing attitudes towards the role of prescribing as a major influence on patient outcome.
British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 04/2013; · 3.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The first publication of this review in Issue 3, 2005 included studies up to November 2003. This update adds studies to December 2006 and focuses on application of a new method for meta-analysis of interrupted time series studies and application of new Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC) Risk of Bias criteria to all studies in the review, including those studies in the previously published version. The aim of the review is to evaluate the impact of interventions from the perspective of antibiotic stewardship. The two objectives of antibiotic stewardship are first to ensure effective treatment for patients with bacterial infection and second support professionals and patients to reduce unnecessary use and minimize collateral damage.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Residents of care homes are at risk of colonisation and infection with antibiotic resistant bacteria, but there is little evidence that antibiotic resistance among such patients is associated with worse outcomes than among older people living in their own homes. Our aim was to compare the prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacteria and clinical outcomes in older patients admitted to hospital with acute infections from care homes versus their own homes. METHODS: We enrolled patients admitted to Ninewells Hospital in 2005 who were older than 64 years with onset of acute community acquired respiratory tract, urinary tract or skin and soft tissue infections, and with at least one sample sent for culture. The primary outcome was 30 day mortality, adjusted for age, sex, Charlson Index of co-morbidity, sepsis severity, presence of resistant isolates and resistance to initial therapy. RESULTS: 161 patients were identified, 60 from care homes and 101 from the community. Care home patients were older, had more co-morbidities, and higher rates of resistant bacteria, including MRSA and Gram negative organisms resistant to co-amoxiclav, cefuroxime and/or ciprofloxacin, overall (70% versus 36%, p = 0.026). 30 day mortality was high in both groups (30% in care home patients and 24% in comparators). In multivariate logistic regression we found that place of residence did not predict 30 day mortality (adjusted odds ratio (OR) for own home versus care home 1.01, 95% CI 0.40-2.52, p = 0.984). Only having severe sepsis predicted 30 day mortality (OR 10.09, 95% CI 3.37-30.19, p < 0.001), after adjustment for age, sex, co-morbidity, presence of resistant bacteria, resistance to initial therapy, and place of residence. CONCLUSIONS: Older patients admitted with acute infection had high 30 day mortality. Patients from care homes were more likely to have resistant organisms but high levels of antimicrobial resistance were found in both groups. Thus, we recommend that antibiotic therapies active against resistant organisms, guided by local resistance patterns, should be considered for all older patients admitted with severe sepsis regardless of their place of residence.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: In 2008, the Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group (SAPG) was established to coordinate a national antimicrobial stewardship programme. In 2009 SAPG led participation in a European point prevalence survey (PPS) of hospital antibiotic use. We describe how SAPG used this baseline PPS as the foundation for implementation of measures for improvement in antibiotic prescribing. METHODS: In 2009 data for the baseline PPS were collected in accordance with the European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption [ESAC] protocol. This informed the development of two quality prescribing indicators: compliance with antibiotic policy in acute admission units and duration of surgical prophylaxis. From December 2009 clinicians collected these data on a monthly basis. The prescribing indicators were reviewed and further modified in March 2011. Data for the follow up PPS in September 2011 were collected as part of a national PPS of healthcare associated infection and antimicrobial use developed using ECDC protocols. RESULTS: In the baseline PPS data were collected in 22 (56%) acute hospitals. The frequency of recording the reason for treatment in medical notes was similar in Scotland (75.9%) and Europe (75.7%). Compliance with policy (81.0%) was also similar to Europe (82.5%) but duration of surgical prophylaxis <24hr (68.6%), was higher than in Europe (48.1%, OR: 0.41, p<0.001). Following the development and implementation of the prescribing indicators monthly measurement and data feedback in admission units illustrated improvement in indication documented of >=90% and compliance with antibiotic prescribing policy increasing from 76% to 90%. The initial prescribing indicator in surgical prophylaxis was less successful in providing consistent national data as there was local discretion on which procedures to include. Following a review and a focus on colorectal surgery the mean proportion receiving single dose prophylaxis exceeded the target of 95% and the mean proportion compliant with policy was 83%. In the follow up PPS of 2011 indication documented (86.8%) and policy compliant (82.8%) were higher than in baseline PPS. CONCLUSIONS: The baseline PPS identified priorities for quality improvement. SAPG has demonstrated that implementation of regularly reviewed national prescribing indicators, acceptable to clinicians, implemented through regular systematic measurement can drive improvement in quality of antibiotic use in key clinical areas. However, our data also show that the ESAC PPS method may underestimate the proportion of surgical prophylaxis with duration <24hr.
Antimicrobial resistance and infection control. 01/2013; 2(1):3.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prescribing errors made by junior doctors are rare only due to lack of knowledge or technical skills. Final Year medical students were given the opportunity to investigate medication incidents involving junior doctors. However long-term sustainability of this activity requires evidence about return on investment for NHS Tayside who assist in supporting medical students. Kirkpatrick's model for evaluating training programmes has been adapted for evaluation of medical education. We address all four levels of Kirkpatrick's model for training medical students in incident reporting, discuss other models and emphasis the importance of return on investment. Examples of organizational learning highlighted in the pilot study suggest that incident review by medical students can provide fresh insights into achieving the “not-seeking-to-blame” culture. Incident Review is now a core activity for all final year medical students at the University of Dundee. Plans to engage with NHS Tayside in an iterative learning cycle that begins and ends with evaluation are underway.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Prescribing errors are a major source of morbidity and mortality and represent a significant patient safety concern. Evidence suggests that trainee doctors are responsible for most prescribing errors. Understanding the factors that influence prescribing behavior may lead to effective interventions to reduce errors. Existing investigations of prescribing errors have been based on Human Error Theory but not on other relevant behavioral theories. The aim of this study was to apply a broad theory-based approach using the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) to investigate prescribing in the hospital context among a sample of trainee doctors. METHOD: Semistructured interviews, based on 12 theoretical domains, were conducted with 22 trainee doctors to explore views, opinions, and experiences of prescribing and prescribing errors. Content analysis was conducted, followed by applying relevance criteria and a novel stage of critical appraisal, to identify which theoretical domains could be targeted in interventions to improve prescribing. RESULTS: Seven theoretical domains met the criteria of relevance: "social professional role and identity," "environmental context and resources," "social influences," "knowledge," "skills," "memory, attention, and decision making," and "behavioral regulation." From critical appraisal of the interview data, "beliefs about consequences" and "beliefs about capabilities" were also identified as potentially important domains. Interrelationships between domains were evident. Additionally, the data supported theoretical elaboration of the domain behavioral regulation. CONCLUSIONS: In this investigation of hospital-based prescribing, participants' attributions about causes of errors were used to identify domains that could be targeted in interventions to improve prescribing. In a departure from previous TDF practice, critical appraisal was used to identify additional domains that should also be targeted, despite participants' perceptions that they were not relevant to prescribing errors. These were beliefs about consequences and beliefs about capabilities. Specifically, in the light of the documented high error rate, beliefs that prescribing errors were not likely to have consequences for patients and that trainee doctors are capable of prescribing without error should also be targeted in an intervention. This study is the first to suggest critical appraisal for domain identification and to use interview data to propose theoretical elaborations and interrelationships between domains.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clin Microbiol Infect 2012; 18: E389-E395 ABSTRACT: The study aimed to identify targets for quality improvement in antifungal use in European hospitals and determine the variability of such prescribing. Hospitals that participated in the European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption Point Prevalence Surveys (ESAC-PPS) were included. The WHO Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) classification for 'antimycotics for systemic use' (J02) 2009 version was used. Demographic data and information about indications and diagnoses were collected in 2008 and 2009. From 99 053 patients, 29 324 (29.6%) received antimicrobials. Antifungals represented 1529 of 40 878 (3.7%) antimicrobials. Antifungals were mainly (54.2%) administered orally. Hospital-acquired infections represented 44.5% of indications for antifungals followed by medical prophylaxis at 31.2%. The site of infection was not defined in 36.0% of cases but the most commonly targeted sites were respiratory (19.2%) and gastrointestinal (18.8%). The most used antifungal was fluconazole (60.5%) followed by caspofungin (10.5%). Antifungal-antibacterial combinations were frequently used (77.5%). The predominance of fluconazole use in participating hospitals could result in an increase in prevalence of inherently resistant fungi, increasing the need for newer antifungals. Although acknowledging that antifungal prophylaxis in the immunocompromised host needs further exploration, repetitive surveys using ESAC-PPS methodology may help to monitor the effects of interventions set to regulate antifungal use.
Clinical Microbiology and Infection 07/2012; 18(10):E389-E395. · 4.58 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High-risk prescribing of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and antiplatelet agents accounts for a significant proportion of hospital admissions due to preventable adverse drug events. The recently completed PINCER trial has demonstrated that a one-off pharmacist-led information technology (IT)-based intervention can significantly reduce high-risk prescribing in primary care, but there is evidence that effects decrease over time and employing additional pharmacists to facilitate change may not be sustainable.
We will conduct a cluster randomised controlled with a stepped wedge design in 40 volunteer general practices in two Scottish health boards. Eligible practices are those that are using the INPS Vision clinical IT system, and have agreed to have relevant medication-related data to be automatically extracted from their electronic medical records. All practices (clusters) that agree to take part will receive the data-driven quality improvement in primary care (DQIP) intervention, but will be randomised to one of 10 start dates. The DQIP intervention has three components: a web-based informatics tool that provides weekly updated feedback of targeted prescribing at practice level, prompts the review of individual patients affected, and summarises each patient's relevant risk factors and prescribing; an outreach visit providing education on targeted prescribing and training in the use of the informatics tool; and a fixed payment of 350 GBP (560 USD; 403 EUR) up front and a small payment of 15 GBP (24 USD; 17 EUR) for each patient reviewed in the 12 months of the intervention. We hypothesise that the DQIP intervention will reduce a composite of nine previously validated measures of high-risk prescribing. Due to the nature of the intervention, it is not possible to blind practices, the core research team, or the data analyst. However, outcome assessment is entirely objective and automated. There will additionally be a process and economic evaluation alongside the main trial.
The DQIP intervention is an example of a potentially sustainable safety improvement intervention that builds on the existing National Health Service IT-infrastructure to facilitate systematic management of high-risk prescribing by existing practice staff. Although the focus in this trial is on Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and antiplatelets, we anticipate that the tested intervention would be generalisable to other types of prescribing if shown to be effective.
ClinicalTrials.gov, dossier number: NCT01425502.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several severity scoring systems have been proposed for skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs), but none has been tested prospectively.
We prospectively enrolled adult, acute medical admissions with SSTI between April 2009 and June 2010. Severity was assessed using two proposed SSTI scoring systems, one based on a generic sepsis definition. Antimicrobial prescribing was compared with guideline recommendations.
We enrolled 79 patients. One of the scoring systems classified 47% into class I (no sepsis or comorbidity), 5% into class II (no sepsis, but comorbidity), 34% into class III [sepsis, but standardized early warning system (SEWS) <4], and 14% into class IV (sepsis with SEWS ≥ 4). The other system classified 39% as mild and 61% as moderate/severe. There were significant discrepancies between the two scoring systems. Using the worst clinical observations in the first 24 h, 19% of patients had more severe disease than was apparent on admission. Under-treatment of patients with sepsis occurred in 13% of patients according to admission observations, increasing to 22% according to the worst observations. Seventy-nine percent of patients with sepsis received antibiotics within 4 h of admission. This was associated with fewer adverse outcomes (P = 0.05).
There is significant room for improvement in the management of SSTIs presenting to acute medical units. The added value of specific SSTI severity scores over generic sepsis assessment requires validation in a larger prospective study. We have changed our antibiotics policy for SSTI to use generic sepsis scores, and we emphasize the need to reassess patients on the day of admission.
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 01/2012; 67(4):1016-9. · 5.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Geriatric infectious diseases are a major health care issue. Infections in the elderly occur more frequently than in younger adults, are often associated with higher morbidity and mortality, and may present atypically. Elderly patients are also often taking multiple medications, which increases the likelihood of drug-drug interactions. Dosing decisions should take into consideration the reduced lean body mass and declining renal function in this age group.
Antimicrobial prescribing in three age groups (65-74, 75-84 and ≥85 years) was compared with a reference age group (18-64 years), with the aim of identifying quality of care indicators specific to the elderly.
The ESAC (European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption) final phase performed two hospital point-prevalence surveys in 2008 and 2009, respectively, using the defined daily dose (DDD) and Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) classification system. The prescribed daily dose (PDD) was compared with the DDD. Differences in prescribing were assessed using multivariate logistic regression analyses.
The majority of patients (19,549 [64% of 30,836]) were from Northern Europe and 13,830 (48%) belonged to the reference group. The largest proportion of patients was admitted through the hospital's medical specialty (55% of patients) [range: 49% in the reference group to 72% in the ≥85 years age group]. Penicillins were the most frequently used antimicrobials in all age groups (range: 32% in the reference group to 41% in the ≥85 years age group). Multivariate analyses showed three significant variations between the 65-74 years age group and the reference group (quinolones: odds ratio [OR] 1.17 [95% CI 1.05, 1.29]; tetracyclines: OR 1.58 [95% CI 1.26, 1.98]; aminoglycosides: OR 0.81 [95% CI 0.70, 0.93]). The number of significant variations increased to seven and eight in the 75-84 and ≥85 years age groups, respectively. A lower likelihood for PDD > DDD was observed in the 65-74 years age group for three parenteral antimicrobials (amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, gentamicin and vancomycin). This was reiterated in the older age groups (75-84 and ≥85 years), where piperacillin/tazobactam, meropenem and oral ciprofloxacin also showed a lower likelihood for PDD > DDD.
Despite the methodology not being dedicated to elderly patients, the study identified elevated use of antimicrobial agents that are associated with serious adverse effects or a narrow therapeutic index as a target for quality of care improvement in elderly patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The relative importance of human diseases is conventionally assessed by cause-specific mortality, morbidity, and economic impact. Current estimates for infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria are not sufficiently supported by quantitative empirical data. This study determined the excess number of deaths, bed-days, and hospital costs associated with blood stream infections (BSIs) caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and third-generation cephalosporin-resistant Escherichia coli (G3CREC) in 31 countries that participated in the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (EARSS).
The number of BSIs caused by MRSA and G3CREC was extrapolated from EARSS prevalence data and national health care statistics. Prospective cohort studies, carried out in hospitals participating in EARSS in 2007, provided the parameters for estimating the excess 30-d mortality and hospital stay associated with BSIs caused by either MRSA or G3CREC. Hospital expenditure was derived from a publicly available cost model. Trends established by EARSS were used to determine the trajectories for MRSA and G3CREC prevalence until 2015. In 2007, 27,711 episodes of MRSA BSIs were associated with 5,503 excess deaths and 255,683 excess hospital days in the participating countries, whereas 15,183 episodes of G3CREC BSIs were associated with 2,712 excess deaths and 120,065 extra hospital days. The total costs attributable to excess hospital stays for MRSA and G3CREC BSIs were 44.0 and 18.1 million Euros (63.1 and 29.7 million international dollars), respectively. Based on prevailing trends, the number of BSIs caused by G3CREC is likely to rapidly increase, outnumbering the number of MRSA BSIs in the near future.
Excess mortality associated with BSIs caused by MRSA and G3CREC is significant, and the prolongation of hospital stay imposes a considerable burden on health care systems. A foreseeable shift in the burden of antibiotic resistance from Gram-positive to Gram-negative infections will exacerbate this situation and is reason for concern.
PLoS Medicine 10/2011; 8(10):e1001104. · 14.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 2008, the Scottish Management of Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan (ScotMARAP) was published by the Scottish Government. One of the key actions was initiation of the Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group (SAPG), hosted within the Scottish Medicines Consortium, to take forward national implementation of the key recommendations of this action plan. The primary objective of SAPG is to co-ordinate and deliver a national framework or programme of work for antimicrobial stewardship. This programme, led by SAPG, is delivered by NHS National Services Scotland (Health Protection Scotland and Information Services Division), NHS Quality Improvement Scotland, and NHS National Education Scotland as well as NHS board Antimicrobial Management Teams. Between 2008 and 2010, SAPG has achieved a number of early successes, which are the subject of this review: (i) through measures to optimise prescribing in hospital and primary care, combined with infection prevention measures, SAPG has contributed significantly to reducing Clostridium difficile infection rates in Scotland; (ii) there has been engagement of all key stakeholders at local and national levels to ensure an integrated approach to antimicrobial stewardship within the wider healthcare-associated infection agenda; (iii) development and implementation of data management systems to support quality improvement; (iv) development of training materials on antimicrobial stewardship for healthcare professionals; and (v) improving clinical management of infections (e.g. community-acquired pneumonia) through quality improvement methodology. The early successes achieved by SAPG demonstrate that this delivery model is effective and provides the leadership and focus required to implement antimicrobial stewardship to improve antimicrobial prescribing and infection management across NHS Scotland.
International journal of antimicrobial agents 07/2011; 38(1):16-26. · 3.03 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine the prevalence and patterns of high risk prescribing, defined as potentially inappropriate prescribing of drugs to primary care patients particularly vulnerable to adverse drug events.
Cross sectional population database analysis.
General practices in Scotland.
315 Scottish general practices with 1.76 million registered patients, 139 404 (7.9%) of whom were defined as particularly vulnerable to adverse drug events because of age, comorbidity, or co-prescription.
How reliably each of 15 indicators-four each for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, co-prescription with warfarin, and prescribing in heart failure, two for dose instructions for methotrexate, and one for antipsychotic prescribing in dementia-and a composite of all 15 could distinguish practices in terms of their rates of high risk prescribing; and characteristics of patients and practices associated with high risk prescribing in a multilevel model.
19 308 of 139 404 (13.9%, 95% confidence interval 13.7% to 14.0%) patients had received at least one high risk prescription in the past year. This composite indicator was a reasonably reliable measure of practice rates of high risk prescribing (reliability >0.7 for 95.6% of practices, >0.8 for 88.2%). The patient characteristic most strongly associated with high risk prescribing was the number of drugs prescribed (>11 long term prescribed drugs v 0; odds ratio 7.90, 95% confidence interval 7.19 to 8.68). After adjustment for patient characteristics, rates of high risk prescribing varied by fourfold between practices, which was not explained by structural characteristics of the practices.
Almost 14% of patients defined as particularly vulnerable to adverse drug events were prescribed one or more high risk drugs. The composite indicator of high risk prescribing used could identify practices as having above average or below average high risk prescribing rates with reasonable confidence. After adjustment, only the number of drugs prescribed long term to patients was strongly associated with high risk prescribing, and considerable unexplained variation existed between practices. High risk prescribing will often be appropriate, but the large variation between practices suggests opportunities for improvement.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antimicrobial resistance is threatening the successful management of nosocomial infections worldwide. Despite the therapeutic limitations imposed by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), its clinical impact is still debated. The objective of this study was to estimate the excess mortality and length of hospital stay (LOS) associated with MRSA bloodstream infections (BSI) in European hospitals. Between July 2007 and June 2008, a multicenter, prospective, parallel matched-cohort study was carried out in 13 tertiary care hospitals in as many European countries. Cohort I consisted of patients with MRSA BSI and cohort II of patients with methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) BSI. The patients in both cohorts were matched for LOS prior to the onset of BSI with patients free of the respective BSI. Cohort I consisted of 248 MRSA patients and 453 controls and cohort II of 618 MSSA patients and 1,170 controls. Compared to the controls, MRSA patients had higher 30-day mortality (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 4.4) and higher hospital mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] = 3.5). Their excess LOS was 9.2 days. MSSA patients also had higher 30-day (aOR = 2.4) and hospital (aHR = 3.1) mortality and an excess LOS of 8.6 days. When the outcomes from the two cohorts were compared, an effect attributable to methicillin resistance was found for 30-day mortality (OR = 1.8; P = 0.04), but not for hospital mortality (HR = 1.1; P = 0.63) or LOS (difference = 0.6 days; P = 0.96). Irrespective of methicillin susceptibility, S. aureus BSI has a significant impact on morbidity and mortality. In addition, MRSA BSI leads to a fatal outcome more frequently than MSSA BSI. Infection control efforts in hospitals should aim to contain infections caused by both resistant and susceptible S. aureus.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 06/2011; 55(4):1598-605. · 4.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to assess current patterns of antibiotic prescribing and the impact of a hospital antibiotic policy on these practices.
The study involved collecting information regarding hospitalized patients utilizing the ESAC audit tool.
In the study site hospital, the use of the restricted agents was low whilst the use of the non-restricted agents was high. Compliance with the hospital antibiotic guidelines was 70%.
The findings identified monitoring non-restricted antibiotics and compliance with guidelines as targets for quality improvements in our hospital. Point prevalence surveys may offer a simple method of monitoring antibiotic policies, thus, informing antibiotic stewardship.
British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 02/2011; 71(2):293-6. · 3.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Urinary tract infections (UTI) occur frequently in older people. Unfortunately, UTI is commonly overdiagnosed and overtreated on the basis of nonspecific clinical signs and symptoms. The diagnosis of a UTI in the older patient requires the presence of new urinary symptoms, with or without systemic symptoms. Urinalysis is commonly used to diagnose infection in this population, however, the evidence for its use is limited. There is overwhelming evidence that asymptomatic bacteriuria should not be treated. Catheter associated urinary tract infection accounts for a significant amount of hospital-associated infection. Indwelling urinary catheters should be avoided where possible and alternatives sought. The use of narrow spectrum antimicrobial agents for urinary tract infection is advocated. Local guidelines are now widely used to reflect local resistance patterns and available agents. Guidelines need to be updated to reflect changes in antimicrobial prescribing and a move from broad to narrow spectrum antimicrobials.
Clinical Interventions in Aging 01/2011; 6:173-80. · 2.65 Impact Factor