Send to

Choose Destination
Infection. 2014 Feb;42(1):119-25. doi: 10.1007/s15010-013-0531-y. Epub 2013 Oct 18.

Antibiotic stewardship in Germany: a cross-sectional questionnaire survey of 355 intensive care units.

Author information

Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine, Charité Berlin, Hindenburgdamm 27, 12203, Berlin, Germany,



Little information is available on antibiotic prescription management in German hospitals. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to determine the prevalence and components of antibiotic stewardship measures in German intensive care units (ICUs).


A questionnaire survey was sent to all ICUs participating in the German nosocomial infection surveillance system (n = 579) in October 2011. Data on antibiotic management structures were collected and analyzed by structural hospital and ICU factors.


The questionnaire was completed by 355 German ICUs (response rate 61 %). Common measures used (>80 % of the ICUs) were personnel restrictions for antibiotic prescriptions, routine access to bacterial resistance data, and pharmacy reports on antibiotic costs and consumption. A small proportion of ICUs (14 %) employed physicians specialized in the prescription of antimicrobial medication. Hospitals with their own microbiological laboratory report participation in surveillance networks for antimicrobial use (34 %) and bacterial resistance (32 %) twice as often as hospitals with external laboratories (15 and 14 %, respectively, p < 0.001). Also, non-profit and public hospitals participate more often in surveillance networks for bacterial resistance than private hospitals (>23 % vs. 11 %, p < 0.05).


While the majority of ICUs report to have some antibiotic policies established, the contents and composition of these policies vary. Organizational-level control strategies to improve antibiotic management are common in Germany. However, strategies widely considered effective, such as the systematic cross-institutional surveillance of antimicrobial use and bacterial resistance in a standardized manner or the employment of infectious disease specialists, are scarce. This study provides a benchmark for future antibiotic stewardship programs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center