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Remote Antimicrobial Stewardship Advice Cuts Broad-Spectrum Antibiotic Use

September 12, 2019

A telehealth-based antimicrobial stewardship program implemented at two community hospitals reduced prescribing of broad-spectrum antibiotics by nearly 25%. Researchers published their findings online in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. 

Over a 6-month intervention period, infectious disease physicians remotely reviewed with local pharmacists patients on broad-spectrum antibiotics as well as patients admitted with lower respiratory tract infections and skin and soft tissue infections. The pharmacists then relayed the recommendations for antimicrobial stewardship interventions to patients’ primary teams.

In all, 1419 recommendations were made concerning patients at the 285- and 176-bed community hospitals, according to the study. Nearly 89% of the recommendations were accepted. 

Compared with a 12-month baseline period before the intervention, broad-spectrum antibiotic prescribing dropped 24.4% during the effort, researchers reported. Local infectious disease consults grew 40.2%. 

The intervention ultimately resulted in $142,630 in estimated annualized savings on antimicrobial expenditures.

Jolynn Tumolo


Shively NR, Moffa MA, Paul KT, et al. Impact of a telehealth-based antimicrobial stewardship program in a community hospital health system [published online September 5, 2019]. Clin Infect Dis. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciz878

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