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The feasibility of implementing antibiotic restrictions for fluoroquinolones and cephalosporins: a mixed-methods study across 15 Veterans Health Administration hospitals.

Livorsi DJ, Suda KJ, Cunningham Goedken C, Hockett Sherlock S, Balkenende E, Chasco EE, Scherer AM, Goto M, Perencevich EN, Goetz MB, Reisinger HS, Veterans Affairs-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Practice-Based Research Network. The feasibility of implementing antibiotic restrictions for fluoroquinolones and cephalosporins: a mixed-methods study across 15 Veterans Health Administration hospitals. The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy. 2021 Jul 15; 76(8):2195-2203.

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INTRODUCTION: The optimal method for implementing hospital-level restrictions for antibiotics that carry a high risk of Clostridioides difficile infection has not been identified. We aimed to explore barriers and facilitators to implementing restrictions for fluoroquinolones and third/fourth-generation cephalosporins. METHODS: This mixed-methods study across a purposeful sample of 15 acute-care, geographically dispersed Veterans Health Administration hospitals included electronic surveys and semi-structured interviews (September 2018 to May 2019). Surveys on stewardship strategies were administered at each hospital and summarized with descriptive statistics. Interviews were performed with 30 antibiotic stewardship programme (ASP) champions across all 15 sites and 19 additional stakeholders at a subset of 5 sites; transcripts were analysed using thematic content analysis. RESULTS: The most restricted agent was moxifloxacin, which was restricted at 12 (80%) sites. None of the 15 hospitals restricted ceftriaxone. Interviews identified differing opinions on the feasibility of restricting third/fourth-generation cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones. Some participants felt that restrictions could be implemented in a way that was not burdensome to clinicians and did not interfere with timely antibiotic administration. Others expressed concerns about restricting these agents, particularly through prior approval, given their frequent use, the difficulty of enforcing restrictions and potential unintended consequences of steering clinicians towards non-restricted antibiotics. A variety of stewardship strategies were perceived to be effective at reducing the use of these agents. CONCLUSIONS: Across 15 hospitals, there were differing opinions on the feasibility of implementing antibiotic restrictions for third/fourth-generation cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones. While the perceived barrier to implementing restrictions was frequently high, many hospitals were effectively using restrictions and reported few barriers to their use.

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