Impact of Positive Feedback on Antimicrobial Stewardship in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit: A Quality Improvement Project

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Introduction:We hypothesized that antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) could be enhanced through positive feedback for the behaviors of healthcare professionals. This project aimed to reduce antimicrobial consumption in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) by >5%, with secondary aims to reduce broad-spectrum antimicrobial consumption, and processes related to AMS. Learning from Excellence is a positive feedback initiative conceptualized at our institution.Methods:This project took place over 12 months (April 2017–March 2018) in a 31-bedded PICU. We identified and measured processes about AMS daily. Healthcare professionals, achieving success in these processes, received positive feedback via Learning from Excellence, during a 6 months intervention period. Selected reports were followed with appreciative inquiry interviews to reinforce positive feedback. We calculated antimicrobial consumption data from existing databases (antimicrobial doses dispensed divided by PICU bed-days). Health Care-Associated Infection (HCAI) rates were included as a balancing measure.Results:Antimicrobial consumption was 6.5% lower during the intervention period compared with the matching period from the previous year. We reduced broad-spectrum antimicrobial (meropenem) consumption by 17.6%. Improvements in processes were mixed: a daily review of antimicrobials and documentation of antimicrobial prescription and administration significantly improved. Other processes failed to improve. HCAI rates did not change.Conclusions:Positive feedback can be used as a QI intervention to improve processes around AMS. This intervention may contribute to a reduction in antimicrobial consumption. Not all processes are impacted equally, and there may be a “dose-response” effect. Further evaluation would benefit from a trial study design in other settings.

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