Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2021 Feb 21:zxab068. doi: 10.1093/ajhp/zxab068. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: To describe how a pharmacist-managed and pharmacist-administered penicillin allergy skin testing (PAST) service was incorporated into an antimicrobial stewardship program at a community hospital.
METHODS: A pharmacist-managed/administered PAST service was initiated in October 2015. Patients 18 years of age or older were considered for PAST if they had a reported history of a type I or unknown type of allergic reaction to penicillin that occurred more than 5 years previously. Patients with a vague allergy history were considered for PAST if the provider was uncomfortable prescribing a preferred β-lactam out of concern for penicillin allergy. Patients were excluded if they were pregnant, had a history of a non-type I allergic reaction, or recently received antihistamines. The primary outcome was the percentage of patients who underwent PAST and were subsequently transitioned to a preferred β-lactam.
RESULTS: PAST was initiated in 90 patients from October 2015 to December 2019. Eighty-five out of 90 patients (94%) completed PAST. Seventy-six out of 90 patients (84.4%) who underwent PAST were transitioned to a preferred β-lactam. The most commonly administered antibiotics prior to PAST were vancomycin, cefepime, and metronidazole. The most commonly used antibiotics after PAST were penicillin, piperacillin/tazobactam, and ampicillin/sulbactam. Among the 90 patients who underwent PAST, alternative antibiotics were avoided for a total of 1,568 days, with a median of 11 days (interquartile range, 6-18 days) avoided per patient.
CONCLUSION: Incorporating a pharmacist-managed/administered PAST service into a community hospital's antimicrobial stewardship program can improve the utilization of preferred antimicrobial therapy and help avoid use of more toxic, costly antimicrobials.