AD McCallum, RK Sutherland, CL Mackintosh
Journal Issue: 
Volume 43: Issue 4: 2013



Antimicrobial stewardship programmes reduce the risk of hospitalassociated infections (HAI) and antimicrobial resistance, and include early intravenous-to-oral switch (IVOS) as a key stewardship measure. We audited the number of patients on intravenous antimicrobials suitable for oral switch, assessed whether prescribing guidelines were followed and reviewed prescribing documentation in three clinical areas in the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, in late 2012. Following this, the first cycle results and local guidelines were presented at a local level and at the hospital grand rounds, posters with recommendations were distributed, joint infection consult and antimicrobial rounds commenced and an alert antimicrobial policy was introduced before re-auditing in early 2013. We demonstrate suboptimal prescribing of intravenous antimicrobials, with 43.9% (43/98) of patients eligible for IVOS at the time of auditing. Only 56.1% (55/98) followed empiric prescribing recommendations. Documentation of antimicrobial prescribing was poor with stop dates recorded in 14.3%, indication on prescription charts in 18.4% and in the notes in 90.8%. The commonest reason for deferring IVOS was deteriorating clinical condition or severe sepsis. Further work to encourage prudent antimicrobial prescribing and earlier consideration of IVOS is required.