The aim of this study was to review the application of antimicrobial stewardship principles to the management of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). Data from 14 published clinical studies, meta-analyses and practice guidelines regarding the application of antimicrobial stewardship strategies to the management of CAP were identified and analysed. In the context of CAP, application of stewardship strategies (alone or in combination) has been shown to increase physician awareness of guidelines, improve appropriate antimicrobial use and reduce unnecessary antimicrobial prescribing. In addition, application has had a profound favourable impact on patient outcomes, including decreased 30-day mortality and in-hospital mortality rates, reduced length of hospital stay, reduced treatment failure rates and reduced healthcare costs. Antimicrobial stewardship programmes have been demonstrated to successfully increase the level of appropriate antibiotic prescribing, reduce pathogen resistance and improve clinical outcomes in the management of CAP within hospitals. Studies have also shown that adherence to evidence-based guidelines, even at the level of the individual clinician, can have a profound and positive impact on patient outcomes and healthcare costs. Adherence to evidence-based guidelines can have a profound and positive impact on patient outcomes and healthcare costs.
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.