Antimicrobial stewardship in the management of community-acquired pneumonia

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Antimicrobial stewardship can be applied to the management of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) to optimize management while maintaining or improving the quality of patient outcomes. We discuss such applications, in general, and review the relevant recent literature.

Recent findings

Clinical pathways or care plans are a means to standardize care for a given disease state and thus improve or optimize the utilization of treatment modalities while at the same time maintaining or improving patient outcomes. Most recent publications describe the application of clinical pathways for the management of CAP in both pediatric and adult populations, reporting success in achieving compliance with national treatment guidelines. As a variation of clinical management pathways, audit tools have also been described that assist in determining the location and length of therapy and proper route of administration of antimicrobial agents with the aim of optimal resource utilization. Emerging rapid diagnostic tools allowing for early identification of pathogens and their antimicrobial susceptibility have great promise for early optimization of therapy for CAP.

Summary

There is a growing body of evidence that antimicrobial stewardship initiatives can be applied successfully and effectively to the management of CAP, benefiting both healthcare systems and patients. Such successful applications will likely grow as new techniques and technologies continue to evolve.

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