Antibiotic Overuse at Discharge in Hospitalized Patients with Bacteriuria or Treated for Pneumonia: A Multi-Hospital Cohort Study

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Open Forum Infectious Diseases



Antibiotics prescribed at hospital discharge account for half of antibiotic use related to hospitalization for urinary tract infection or bacterial pneumonia. It is unclear how much antibiotic use at discharge represents overuse, and thus, could potentially be improved through antibiotic stewardship. Methods

From July 2017 to December 2018, trained abstractors at 46 Michigan hospitals collected detailed data on a sample of adult, nonintensive care, hospitalized patients with bacteriuria or treated for community-acquired or healthcare-associated pneumonia (discharge diagnosis of pneumonia plus antibiotic treatment). Antibiotic prescriptions at discharge were assessed for overuse using a guideline-based hierarchical algorithm: evaluating first for unnecessary antibiotics (noninfectious/nonbacterial syndrome), then excess duration (antibiotics needed, but prescribed for longer than necessary), and finally avoidable fluoroquinolones (safer alternative antibiotic available) (Figure 1). For each disease state, descriptive results are shown with comparisons by t- or Fisher’s exact tests. Results

Of 17,157 patients (7,283 with bacteriuria; 9,874 treated for pneumonia), 30.1% of patients with bacteriuria had asymptomatic bacteriuria and 11.4% of patients treated for pneumonia did not meet diagnostic criteria for pneumonia. The most common antibiotics prescribed at discharge were fluoroquinolones. Nearly half (43.6%) of patients had antibiotic overuse at discharge (33.8% bacteriuria, 50.9% pneumonia), with a median 4 days of overuse after discharge (Table 1). For bacteriuria, 45.0% of overuse days at discharge were due to unnecessary antibiotics; for pneumonia, 61.2% were due to excess antibiotic duration (Figure 2). Patients with community-acquired pneumonia and those with sepsis on admission had the highest rates of antibiotic overuse at discharge (Table 2). Conclusion

In the largest assessment of antibiotics at discharge to-date, antibiotic overuse at discharge was extremely common. Specific targets for discharge stewardship vary by disease state. Notably, interventions may be more effective at reducing fluoroquinolone prescribing at discharge indirectly by stopping treatment for asymptomatic bacteriuria and reducing excess duration in pneumonia.




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