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Clin Infect Dis. 2003 Jul 15;37(2):180-6. Epub 2003 Jul 9.

A hospitalwide intervention program to optimize the quality of antibiotic use: impact on prescribing practice, antibiotic consumption, cost savings, and bacterial resistance.

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  • 1Committee for Prevention and Control of Nosocomial Infection, Hospital San Martín, Paraná, Entre Ríos, Argentina.


Several findings from Argentina provide compelling evidence of the need for more rational use of antimicrobial agents. Thus, a multidisciplinary antimicrobial treatment committee for the development of a hospital-wide intervention program was formed to optimize the quality of antibiotic use in hospitals. Four successive steps were developed during 6-month periods: baseline data collection, introduction of a prescription form, education, and prescribing control. Sustained reduction of drug consumption was shown during the study (R2=0.6885; P=.01). Total cost savings was 913,236 US dollars. To estimate the consumption of cefepime and aminopenicillin-sulbactam in relation to that of the third-generation cephalosporins, 2 indices were calculated: Icfp and Iams, respectively. Decreasing resistance to ceftriaxone by Proteus mirabilis and Enterobacter cloacae proved to be associated with increasing Icfp. Decreasing rates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus were related to increasing Iams. The present study indicates that a systematic program performed by a multidisciplinary team is a cost-effective strategy for optimizing antibiotic prescribing.

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