A mandatory indication-registration tool in hospital electronic medical records enabling systematic evaluation and benchmarking of the quality of antimicrobial use: a feasibility study

Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2021 Jul 3;10(1):103. doi: 10.1186/s13756-021-00973-0.


OBJECTIVES: Evaluation of the extent and appropriateness of antimicrobial use is a cornerstone of antibiotic stewardship programs, but it is time-consuming. Documentation of the indication at the moment of prescription might be more time-efficient. We investigated the real-life feasibility of mandatory documentation of the indication for all hospital antibiotic prescriptions for quality evaluation purposes.

METHODS: A mandatory prescription-indication format was implemented in the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) of three hospitals using EPIC or ChipSoft HIX software. We evaluated the retrieved data of all antibiotics (J01) prescribed as empiric therapy in adult patients with respiratory tract infections (RTI) or urinary tract infections (UTI), from January through December 2017 in Hospital A, June through October 2019 in Hospital B and May 2019 through June 2020 in Hospital C. Endpoints were the accuracy of the data, defined as agreement between selected indication for the prescription and the documented indication in the EMR, as assessed by manually screening a representative sample of eligible patient records in the EMR of the three hospitals, and appropriateness of the prescriptions, defined as the prescriptions being in accordance with the national guidelines.

RESULTS: The datasets of hospitals A, B and C contained 9588, 338 and 5816 empiric antibiotic prescriptions indicated for RTI or UTI, respectively. The selected indication was in accordance with the documented indication in 96.7% (error rate: 10/300), 78.2% (error rate: 53/243), and 86.9% (error rate: 39/298), respectively. A considerable variation in guideline adherence was seen between the hospitals for severe community acquired pneumonia (adherence rate ranged from 35.4 to 53.0%), complicated UTI (40.0-67.1%) and cystitis (5.6-45.3%).

CONCLUSIONS: After local validation of the datasets to verify and optimize accuracy of the data, mandatory documentation of the indication for antibiotics enables a reliable and time-efficient method for systematic registration of the extent and appropriateness of empiric antimicrobial use, which might enable benchmarking both in-hospital and between hospitals.

PMID:34217361 | DOI:10.1186/s13756-021-00973-0