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HSR&D Citation Abstract

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Parenteral to oral conversion of fluoroquinolones: low-hanging fruit for antimicrobial stewardship programs?

Jones M, Huttner B, Madaras-Kelly K, Nechodom K, Nielson C, Bidwell Goetz M, Neuhauser MM, Samore MH, Rubin MA. Parenteral to oral conversion of fluoroquinolones: low-hanging fruit for antimicrobial stewardship programs? Infection control and hospital epidemiology. 2012 Apr 1; 33(4):362-7.

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OBJECTIVE: To estimate avoidable intravenous (IV) fluoroquinolone use in Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals. DESIGN: A retrospective analysis of bar code medication administration (BCMA) data. SETTING: Acute care wards of 128 VA hospitals throughout the United States. METHODS: Data were analyzed for all medications administered on acute care wards between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2010. Patient-days receiving therapy were expressed as fluoroquinolone-days (FD) and divided into intravenous (IV; all doses administered intravenously) and oral (PO; at least one dose administered per os) FD. We assumed IV fluoroquinolone use to be potentially avoidable on a given IV FD when there was at least 1 other medication administered via the enteral route. RESULTS: Over the entire study period, 884,740 IV and 830,572 PO FD were administered. Overall, avoidable IV fluoroquinolone use accounted for 46.8% of all FD and 90.9% of IV FD. Excluding the first 2 days of all IV fluoroquinolone courses and limiting the analysis to the non-ICU setting yielded more conservative estimates of avoidable IV use: 20.9% of all FD and 45.9% of IV FD. Avoidable IV use was more common for levofloxacin and more frequent in the ICU setting. There was a moderate correlation between avoidable IV FD and total systemic antibiotic use (r = 0.32). CONCLUSIONS: Unnecessary IV fluoroquinolone use seems to be common in the VA system, but important variations exist between facilities. Antibiotic stewardship programs could focus on this patient safety issue as a "low-hanging fruit" to increase awareness of appropriate antibiotic use.

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