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The Use of an Antibiotic Order Form for Antibiotic Utilization Review: Influence on Physicians' Prescribing Patterns

Roger M. Echols and Steven F. Kowalsky
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 150, No. 6 (Dec., 1984), pp. 803-807
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30129369
Page Count: 5
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The Use of an Antibiotic Order Form for Antibiotic Utilization Review: Influence on Physicians' Prescribing Patterns
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Abstract

An antibiotic order form was implemented for all inpatient antibiotic orders at an 800-bed hospital in April 1981 to provide an ongoing, concurrent audit of antibiotic use. The prescribing physician provided the clinical indication for the antibiotic order, and individual patient treatment courses were identified. During the 25-month study period, cephalosporins, penicillin plus ampicillin, and aminoglycosides accounted for 44%, 22%, and 17% of all treatment courses, respectively. Sixty-nine percent of first-generation cephalosporin treatment courses were for prophylaxis, whereas the remaining antibiotics were used for either empirical therapy or documented infection in 56%-79% of cases. After the introduction of the antibiotic order form, there was a significant decline in both the number of antibiotic treatment courses (P = .025) and the percentage of patients receiving any antibiotic (P = .007). We conclude that a specialized antibiotic order form is an effective method for antibiotic utilization review and can have a significant impact on a physician's prescribing patterns.

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