Friday, May 20, 2016

Implementing Antibiotic Stewardship in Hospitals can significantly reduce Consumption and Infections

Contributed by Siddarth David & Dr. Tamhankar

A meta-analysis study published by Brown University, US researchers have indicated that if a hospital adopts an antibiotic stewardship program its infection levels would drop considerably. The study published in the journal of the American Society for Microbiology last week, showed that such programs reduce use of antibiotics by more 20% in overall with maximum reduction in the Intensive Care Units (ICUs) of nearly 40% which is a key site for infections.

Use of restricted antibiotics fell by more than one-fourth after an a stewardship program, and use of broad-spectrum antibiotics declined by nearly one-fifth the study showed. The study also quelled fears that restricted use of one drug would increase dramatically the consumption of others. The study showed overall infections were reduced by 5% across hospitals that have started antibiotic stewardship programs and reduced length of hospital stay by around 9%. The expenditures incurred to hospitals in buying antibiotics also fell sharply.

The study reaffirms the fact that adopting an antibiotic stewardship program has multi-faceted benefits to the hospital: drug expenditures, infection rates, and length of hospitalization and most importantly use of antibiotics. This should serve a tool to dispel popular myths that following antibiotic stewardship program would affect the hospital's service quality and patient outcomes as well as finances. It should be part of health policy to enforce such stewardship programs in all health facilities to tackle the issue of antibiotic resistance.

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