Pharmacist-Driven Culture and Sexually Transmitted Infection Testing Follow-Up Program in the Emergency Department

Pharmacy (Basel). 2020 Apr 23;8(2):72. doi: 10.3390/pharmacy8020072.


Expanding pharmacist-driven antimicrobial stewardship efforts in the emergency department (ED) can improve antibiotic management for both admitted and discharged patients. We piloted a pharmacist-driven culture and rapid diagnostic technology (RDT) follow-up program in patients discharged from the ED. This was a single-center, pre- and post-implementation, cohort study examining the impact of a pharmacist-driven culture/RDT follow-up program in the ED. Adult patients discharged from the ED with subsequent positive cultures and/or RDT during the pre- (21 August 2018-18 November 2018) and post-implementation (19 November 2018-15 February 2019) periods were screened for inclusion. The primary endpoints were time from ED discharge to culture/RDT review and completion of follow-up. Secondary endpoints included antimicrobial agent prescribed during outpatient follow-up, repeat ED encounters within 30 days, and hospital admissions within 30 days. Baseline characteristics were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Time-to-event data were analyzed using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. One-hundred-and-twenty-seven patients were included, 64 in the pre-implementation group and 63 in the post-implementation group. There was a 36.3% reduction in the meantime to culture/RDT data review in the post-implementation group (75.2 h vs. 47.9 h, p < 0.001). There was a significant reduction in fluoroquinolone prescribing in the post-implementation group (18.1% vs. 5.4%, p = 0.036). The proportion of patients who had a repeat ED encounter or hospital admission within 30 days was not significantly different between the pre- and post-implementation groups (15.6 vs. 19.1%, p = 0.78 and 9.4% vs. 7.9%, p = 1.0, respectively). Introduction of a pharmacist culture and RDT follow-up program in the ED reduced time to data review, time to outpatient intervention and outpatient follow-up of fluoroquinolone prescribing.

Keywords: antimicrobial stewardship; pharmacy resident; rapid diagnostic technology; urinary tract infections.