Positive effects of audit and feedback on antimicrobial use in hospitalized patients limited to audited patients

Elske M. Engel-Dettmers*, Nashwan Al Naiemi, Hero E. Dijkema, Annemarie L.M.A. Braakman-Jansen, Lisette J.E.W.C. van Gemert-Pijnen, Bhanu Sinha

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Objective: Audit and feedback is an antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) strategy, with the potential to also optimize antimicrobial use in non-audited patients. This study aimed to determine whether audit and feedback reduce antimicrobial use in both audited and non-audited patients.
Design: Before-after trial with a 1-year intervention period and 2.5-year historical cohort.
Setting: 750-bed community hospital in the Netherlands.
Patients: All patients admitted to the urology wards during the 3.5-year study period were observed. Patients were classified as using antimicrobials if any antimicrobial was used for therapeutic reasons. Patients using antimicrobials prophylactically were excluded from measurements.
Intervention: The AMS team provided audit and feedback on antimicrobial use for patients using antimicrobials for 2 days. Retrospectively, antimicrobial use and length of stay (LOS) were compared with the historical cohort.
Results: Audits modified antimicrobial treatment in 52.8% of the cases. De-escalating, stopping, and switching from intravenous to oral treatment accounted for 72% of these modifications. Compared to patients from the cohort, who also used antimicrobials for 2 days, antimicrobial use decreased from 14.21 DDD/patient (95% CI, 13.08–15.34) to 11.45 DDD/patient (95% CI, 8.26–14.64; P = .047) for audited patients. Furthermore, mean LOS decreased from 7.42 days (95% CI, 6.79–8.06) to 6.13 days (95% CI, 5.38–6.89; P = .031). However, looking at all patients admitted to the urology wards, the percentage of patients using antimicrobials and total antimicrobial use remained unchanged.
Conclusions: Audit and feedback reduce antimicrobial use and LOS, but only for audited patients. Positive effects are not automatically transferred to patients for whom no audits have been performed.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere46
Number of pages7
JournalAntimicrobial Stewardship & Healthcare Epidemiology
Issue number1
Early online date16 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 16 Apr 2024


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