To audit the quality of treatment of lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) and urinary tract infections (UTIs) and to identify targets for antibiotic stewardship.Methods
The audit involved collecting data on admitted patients, who were diagnosed with LRTIs or UTIs and subsequently received antibiotic treatment (January 2009–April 2009).Key findings
The percentage adherence rate for hospital antibiotic policy was 68.6% (24/35). Documentation of the CURB-65 score was found in 80% (16/20) of the patients’ clinical notes, for which 46.2% (6/13) of patients were treated according to their CURB-65 score. The percentages of delayed and missed doses for all antibiotics were 21.7% (254/1171) and 8.6% (101/1171), respectively. The percentage of patients switched from intravenous to oral antibiotics in accordance with the policy was 58.5% (31/53). The mean length of stay for patients switched in line with the guidelines was 6.9 days (range: 2–18 days) compared with 13.2 days (range: 4–28 days) for patients treated with intravenous antibiotics >24 h after the intravenous to oral switch criteria were fulfilled; this equates to on average an extra 6.3 days of hospitalisation (p=0.01).Conclusions
The study identified a number of targets for quality improvement including adherence to antibiotic policy, documentation of the CURB-65 score in patients’ notes and treating patients accordingly, addressing the issue of missed and delayed doses, and maintaining adherence to the hospital intravenous-to-oral antibiotic switch policy. The findings suggest that the quality of antibiotic prescribing could be improved by measuring and addressing such performance indicators.