Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Aug 30:ciab747. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciab747. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Few groups have formally studied the effect of dedicated antibiotic stewardship rounds (ASRs) on antibiotic use (AU) in intensive care units (ICUs).
METHODS: We implemented weekly ASRs using a two-arm, cluster-randomized, crossover study in 5 ICUs at Duke University Hospital from 11/2017 to 6/2018. We excluded patients without an active antibiotic order, or if they had a marker of high complexity including an existing infectious disease consult, transplant, ventricular assist device, or ECMO. AU during and following ICU stay for patients with ASRs was compared to the controls. We recorded the number of reviews, recommendations delivered, and responses. We evaluated change in ICU-specific AU during and after the study.
RESULTS: Our analysis included 4,683 patients: 2330 intervention and 2353 controls. Teams performed 761 reviews during ASRs, which excluded 1569 patients: 60% of patients off antibiotics, and 8% complex patients. Exclusions affected 88% the cardiac surgery ICU (CTICU) patients. AU rate ratio (RR) was 0.97 (0.91-1.04). When CTICU was removed, the RR was 0.93 (0.89-0.98). AU in the post-study period decreased by 16% (95% CI 11-24%) compared to the AU in the baseline period. Change in AU was differential among units: largest in the neurology ICU (-28%) and smallest in the CTICU (-2%).
CONCLUSION: Weekly multi-disciplinary ASRs was a high-resource intervention associated with a small AU reduction. The noticeable ICU AU decline over time is possibly due to indirect effects of ASRs. Effects differed among specialty ICUs, emphasizing the importance of customizing ASRs to match unit-specific population, workflow, and culture.