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A systematic review of inpatient antimicrobial stewardship programmes involving clinical pharmacists in small-to-medium-sized hospitals

Abstract

Objective Antimicrobial stewardship programmes (ASPs) have been widely implemented in large hospitals but little is known regarding small-to-medium-sized hospitals. This literature review evaluates outcomes described for ASPs participated in by clinical pharmacists and implemented in small-to-medium-sized hospitals (<500 beds).

Methods Following PRISMA principles, PubMed and Cochrane Library databases were searched in early 2016 for English language articles describing implementation and outcomes for inpatient ASPs participated in by clinical pharmacists in small-to-medium-sized hospitals. Each included study was required to include at least one of the following outcomes: microbiological outcomes, quality of care and clinical outcomes or antimicrobial use and cost outcomes.

Results We included 28 studies from 26 hospitals, mostly American or Canadian. Most cases (23 studies) consisted of time-series comparisons of pre-and post-intervention periods. Of the 28 studies analysed, 8 reported microbiological outcomes, 21 reported quality of care and clinical outcomes, and 27 reported antimicrobial use and cost outcomes. Interventions were not generally associated with significant changes in mortality or readmission rates but were associated with substantial cost savings, mainly due to reduced use of antibiotics or the use of cheaper antibiotics.

Conclusion As far as we are aware, ours is the first systematic review that evaluates ASPs participated in by clinical pharmacists in small-to-medium-sized hospitals. ASPs appear to be an effective strategy for reducing antimicrobial use and cost. However, the limited association with better microbiological, care quality and clinical outcomes would highlight the need for further studies and for standardised methods for evaluating ASP outcomes.

  • clinical pharmacy
  • infectious diseases
  • pharmacotherapy
  • therapeutics
  • side effects of drugs

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