Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2021 Mar 26:zxab110. doi: 10.1093/ajhp/zxab110. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: An estimated 30% of all outpatient antibiotic prescriptions in the United States are unnecessary. The Joint Commission in 2016 implemented core elements of performance requiring antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) to expand to outpatient practice settings. A study was conducted to determine whether pharmacist-led audit and feedback would improve antibiotic prescribing for urinary tract infections (UTIs) and skin and soft tissue infection (SSTIs) at 2 primary care practices.
METHODS: A retrospective, quasi-experimental study was conducted to evaluate antibiotic prescribing for patients treated for a UTI or SSTI at 2 primary care offices (a family medicine office and an internal medicine office). The primary objective was to compare the rate of appropriate antibiotic prescribing to patients treated before implementation of a pharmacist-led audit-and-feedback process for reviewing antibiotics prescribed for UTIs and SSTIs (the pre-ASP group) and patients treated after process implementation (the post-ASP group). Total regimen appropriateness was defined by appropriate antibiotic selection, dose, duration, and therapy indication in accordance with institutional outpatient empiric therapy guidelines. Secondary objectives included comparing rates of infection-related revisits and Clostridioides difficile infection between groups.
RESULTS: A total of 400 patients were included in the study (pre-ASP gropu, n = 200; post-ASP group, n = 200). The rate of total antibiotic prescribing appropriateness improved significantly, from 27.5% to 50.5% (P < 0.0001), after implementation of the audit-and-feedback process. There were also significant improvements in the post-ASP group vs the pre-ASP period in the individual components of regimen appropriateness: appropriate drug (70% vs 53%, P < 0.001), appropriate duration (83.5% vs 57.5% , P < 0.001), and appropriate therapy indication (98% vs 94% , P = 0.041). There were no significant between-group differences in other outcomes such as rates of adverse events, treatment failure, C. difficile infection, and infection-related revisits or hospitalizations within 30 days.
CONCLUSION: A pharmacist-led audit-and-feedback outpatient stewardship strategy was demonstrated to achieve significant improvement in outpatient antibiotic prescribing for UTI and SSTI.