Karen Hoffmann

A team approach to antimicrobial stewardship resulted in decreased broad spectrum antibiotic use, reduced patient length of stay and cost reductions for a Pennsylvania hospital, according to a case study presented this week at the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology’s annual conference.

The case involved professionals from a microbiology lab, antimicrobial stewardship team, a pharmacy and hospital staff who collaborated on a new protocol to treat hospitalized sepsis patients. Rapid blood culture identification tests were used to pinpoint the bacterial cause of sepsis in each patient, helping pharmacists better tailor a previously prescribed antibiotic regime, the association reported.

Results showed that providers adjusted patients’ antibiotic treatment 25 hours sooner on average when compared with past treatment data, decreasing patients’ average time on broad spectrum antibiotics. The effort led to a reduction in hospital stay of 1.45 days per patient, resulting in a cost avoidance of $322,508 over four months, the association reported.

“This scenario illustrates the success that antimicrobial stewardship programs can achieve when healthcare providers, pharmacists, and infection preventionists work together,” said APIC President Karen Hoffmann, RN, MS, CIC, FSHEA, FAPIC. “Antimicrobial stewardship programs require coordination across multiple disciplines to achieve the larger goal of preserving antibiotic therapy for future generations.”