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J Am Med Inform Assoc. 1998 Nov-Dec;5(6):554-62.

Reducing vancomycin use utilizing a computer guideline: results of a randomized controlled trial.

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  • 1Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Vancomycin-resistant enterococci represent an increasingly important cause of nosocomial infections. Minimizing vancomycin use represents a key strategy in preventing the spread of these infections.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether a structured ordering intervention using computerized physician order entry that requires use of a guideline could reduce intravenous vancomycin use.

DESIGN:

Randomized controlled trial assessing frequency and duration of vancomycin therapy by physicians.

PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING:

Three hundred ninety-six physicians and 1,798 patients in a tertiary-care teaching hospital.

INTERVENTION:

Computer screen displaying, at the time of physician order entry, an adaptation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for appropriate vancomycin use.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The frequency of initiation and renewal of vancomycin therapy as well the duration of therapy prescribed on a per prescriber basis.

RESULTS:

Compared with the control group, intervention physicians wrote 32 percent fewer orders (11.3 versus 16.7 orders per physician; P = 0.04) and had 28 percent fewer patients for whom they either initiated or renewed an order for vancomycin (7.4 versus 10.3 orders per physician; P = 0.02). In addition, the duration of vancomycin therapy attributable to physicians in the intervention group was 36 percent lower than the duration of therapy prescribed by control physicians (26.5 versus 41.2 days; P = 0.05). Analysis of pharmacy data confirmed a decrease in the overall hospital use of intravenous vancomycin during the study period.

CONCLUSION:

Implementation of a computerized guideline using physician order entry decreased vancomycin use. Computerized guidelines represent a promising tool for changing prescribing practices.

Comment in

PMID:
9824802
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC61335
Free PMC Article

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