Hospital discharge in patients at risk of surgical site infection: antimicrobial stewardship at Ferrara University Hospital, Italy.
JPMH - Vol 59, No 2 (2018)


Antimicrobial stewardship
surgical patients
hospital discharge
surgical site infections


Introduction. The appropriate use of antibiotics is a global priority in order to avoid antibiotic resistance. Up to 50% of antibiotics usage in hospital is inappropriate (e.g. prolonged surgical prophylaxis, “defensive medicine” approach).
In 2015, at the Ferrara University Hospital, an antimicrobial stewardship intervention to reduce antimicrobial prescription at the time of hospital discharge in patients at risk of surgical site infection was implemented. This programme included: update meetings for health professionals, focused meetings for critical wards, reviews of some surgical prophylaxis protocols, recommendations to reduce broad-spectrum antimicrobials use, and planning of an audit. The purpose of this study has been to evaluate the effect of this antimicrobial stewardship programme.
Methods. To evaluate the effect of this intervention, a study has been carried out including inpatients in surveillance for surgical site infection who had surgery during the last quarter of 2014 (pre-intervention group; 461 patients) and of 2015 (post-intervention group; 532 patients).
Results. The proportion of patients with prescription of at least one antimicrobial at discharge decreased from 33% to 24.4% (p=0.002). The most prescribed categories of antimicrobials in both groups were the combination of penicillins with beta-lactamase inhibitors (with prescription rate reduced from 21.9% to 18%; p=0.13) and fluoroquinolones (from 8.2% to 3.2%; p<0.001).
Conclusions. This statistically significant reduction in antimicrobial prescription after the intervention was registered without a change in surgical site infections rate (from 3.5% to 3.2%; p=0.08). Therefore, this intervention was effective in reducing the antimicrobial prescription at discharge, without affecting patients' safety.


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