Adherence to guideline based antibiotic treatment for acute exacerbations of COPD in an Australian tertiary hospital.
Intern Med J. 2014 Jun 25;
Authors: Fanning M, McKean M, Seymour K, Pillans P, Scott I
Acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) are an important cause of acute hospital admissions and incur significant costs, which include antibiotic costs.
OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to: 1) define antibiotic prescribing practice in patients admitted to a tertiary hospital with AECOPD and compare this with current locally and nationally recognised antibiotic prescribing guidelines; and 2) correlate variations in guideline-concordant antibiotic prescribing with mean length of stay (LOS) and rates of unplanned readmission to hospital.
DESIGN: Retrospective case series of 84 consecutive patients with uncomplicated AECOPD who met pre-specified selection criteria.
RESULTS: 72 of 84 participants (85.7%) received guideline-discordant antibiotics, of whom the majority (76%) received IV antibiotics. Mean LOS was significantly lower among patients receiving guideline-concordant therapy compared to those receiving guideline-discordant therapy (mean 1.6 days vs 3.7 days; p = 0.002). There was no significant difference between groups in rates of readmission. Estimated excess costs per patient associated with guideline-discordant therapy equalled $2642 which, if eliminated, would save approximately $300,000 per annum.
CONCLUSION: In a tertiary hospital, Australian guidelines for treating patients with an AECOPD were rarely followed. The use of guideline-discordant therapy resulted in longer hospital stays and incurred greater costs. Studies are required to determine the reasons behind such discordant practice and to develop initiatives to improve antibiotic prescribing.
PMID: 24963727 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]