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Volume 51, Number 1, February 2018

Effects of implementation of an online comprehensive antimicrobial-stewardship program in ICUs: A longitudinal study 

I-Ling Chen, Chen-Hsiang Lee, Li-Hsiang Su, Yu-Chin Lily Wang, Jien-Wei Liu


Corresponding author:

Chen-Hsiang Lee, Corresponding author. Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, 123 Ta-Pei Road, Niao Sung District, Kaohsiung 833, Taiwan. 


Background and purpose: 

The long-term effects of antimicrobial-stewardship programs in the intensive care units (ICUs) have not been adequately examined. We evaluated the impact of an online comprehensive antimicrobial stewardship program (OCASP) on the outcomes of patients in 200-bed medical/surgical ICUs over the course of 11 years. 



We analyzed the records of adult patients admitted to ICUs during the 5 years before (n = 27,499) and the 6 years after (n = 33,834) implementation of an OCASP. Antimicrobial consumption, expenditures, duration of treatment, incidence of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), prevalence of HAIs caused by antimicrobial-resistant strains, and crude or sepsis-related mortality of patients were analyzed. Segmented regression analyses of interrupted time series were used to assess the significance of changes in antimicrobial use. 



Compared to the patients in the pre-OCASP period, the patients in the post-OCASP period were older, had greater disease severity, longer ICU stays, and were more likely to receive antimicrobials, but had lower antimicrobial expenditures and crude and sepsis-related mortality. The trend of overall antimicrobial use [slope of defined daily dose/1000 patient-days vs. time) increased significantly before OCASP implementation (p < 0.001), but decreased significantly after implementation (p < 0.01). The administration duration of all classes of antibiotics were significantly shorter (p < 0.001) and the incidences of HAIs were significantly lower (p < 0.001) after implementation. However, there was an increase in the proportion of HAIs caused by carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii relative to all A. baumannii infections. 



Implementation of an OCASP in the ICUs reduced antimicrobial consumption and expenditures, but did not compromise healthcare quality. 


Key words:

antimicrobial stewardship program, ICU, patient outcomes, quality improvement