A randomized, prospective study measuring outcomes after antibiotic therapy intervention by a multidisciplinary consult team

Pharmacotherapy. 1999 Dec;19(12):1369-77. doi: 10.1592/phco.19.18.1369.30898.


Our aim was to identify financial and outcome benefits of therapeutic intervention by a multidisciplinary antimicrobial treatment team composed of pharmacists, a clinical microbiologist, and an infectious disease specialist. Of 252 consecutive inpatients receiving suboptimal intravenous antibiotics identified by the clinical pharmacist, 127 were prospectively randomized to intervention and 125 to a control group. The groups were similar with regard to severity of illness, infection type, and time from admission to randomization. Physicians received timely, detailed reviews of relevant microbiologic and clinical data with recommendations of possible optimal antibiotic choices, dosages, and rationales. Median length of stay after randomization for control and intervention groups was 9.0 days and 5.7 days, respectively (3.3-day difference, p=0.0001). Fifteen (12.0%) and eight patients (6.3%), respectively, died, although the time-specific mortality risk was not significantly different when length of postrandomization follow-up and time to death were taken into account. Physician acceptance of suggestions was 89%. Median patient charges for radiology, laboratory, pharmacy, and room were reduced by $4404/intervention, and median hospital costs were reduced by $2642/intervention. A multidisciplinary antimicrobial therapy team can be a useful information source for physicians, improve outcomes in hospitalized patients receiving intravenous antimicrobials, and result in substantial cost savings.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / economics*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Communicable Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Communicable Diseases / economics*
  • Cost of Illness
  • Economics, Hospital*
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Length of Stay
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents