Millions Could Be Saved with Better Antimicrobial Prescribing

the MPR take:

Overuse and inappropriate use of antimicrobials can lead to patient harm and contribute to antimicrobial resistance and unnecessary healthcare costs. Overprescribing or redundant treatments may occur from systemic and/or individual practitioner factors, lack of knowledge of the antimicrobial spectra, intentional prescribing errors, or a drive to meet patient expectations. A retrospective analysis of administrative data on hospitalized patients discharged between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2011 found that 78% of acute care hospitals had evidence of one or more of the 23 combinations of potentially redundant antimicrobial coverage. The intravenous metronidazole and piperacillin-tazobactam combination was administered the most (53%), with three antianaerobic regimens accounting for 70% of all cases. It is estimated that the total potential cost savings from reducing the 17 most common redundant antimicrobial combinations could exceed $12.9 million for these hospitals during the study time frame. All healthcare facilities should consider antibiotic stewardship policies to save money and improve patient outcomes, the authors urge

Overutilization of antimicrobial therapy places patients at risk for harm and contributes to antimicrobial resistance and escalating healthcare costs. Focusing on redundant or duplicate antimicrobial therapy is 1 recommended strategy to reduce overutilization and its attendant effects on patient safety and hospital costs.