Background: In pediatrics, limited data are available on how to develop and implement an antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP). In addition, no data exist on clinicians' impression of such programs. The objectives of this study were to describe the development and implementation of an ASP in a children's hospital and to describe the thoughts and attitudes of the clinicians interacting with the ASP.
Methods: A qualitative description of the development and implementation of an ASP is provided. In addition, 2 years after the implementation of a prospective-audit-with-feedback ASP, an electronic survey was administered to clinicians to assess their attitudes toward the ASP.
Results: A 5-step process for developing this ASP included the following: team development; selecting the stewardship strategy(ies) and antimicrobials to monitor; establishing a method to identify patients; program evaluation; and implementation. Of 365 participants surveyed, 205 (56%) responded, and 80% (160 of 199) had never worked with an ASP before its implementation. Clinicians agreed that the ASP decreased inappropriate use of antibiotics (84%, 162 of 194), improved the quality of patient care (82%, 159 of 194), and provided knowledge and education about appropriate antibiotic use (91%, 177 of 194). Negative feelings regarding the ASP included the following: 11% (22 of 194) felt a loss of autonomy; 6% (12 of 194) felt that it interfered with clinical decision-making; and 5% (9 of 194) felt threatened. Clinicians thought that to further decrease inappropriate antibiotic use, guidelines of empiric antibiotic choices (80%, 152 of 189) should be developed, and better training in medical school and residency should be provided (80%, 152 of 189). Finally, our clinicians felt that the problem of antibiotic resistance and inappropriate antibiotic use was worse nationally than at our institution.
Conclusions: A prospective-audit-with-feedback ASP was successfully developed and implemented at a children's hospital. The ASP was perceived by clinicians to reduce inappropriate antibiotic use and to improve the quality of care of hospitalized children, with minimal loss of physician autonomy or interference in clinical decision-making.
Keywords: Antimicrobial Stewardship; Implementation; Pediatrics; Survey.
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