A Pilot Study for Antimicrobial Stewardship Post-Discharge: Avoiding Pitfalls at the Transitions of Care

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Lack of patient follow-up is a major concern during care transitions, and the role of an antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) in assessing antimicrobial regimens after hospital discharge is not well described. We implemented an expanded ASP to include patients recently discharged from the hospital and measured its impact on inappropriate antimicrobial therapy 72 hours after inpatient culture data were finalized.


A prospective cohort study was conducted at a 583-bed tertiary care center in the Upper Midwest of America. All patients discharged from our facility on antimicrobial therapy with pending culture results between February 3, 2016, and March 2, 2016, were included for review. If a pathogen nonsusceptible to all prescribed antimicrobials was identified post-discharge, a recommendation for therapy modification was communicated to the prescriber.


Thirty-eight patients discharged from our hospital on antimicrobial therapy with pending culture results were evaluated for intervention. When final culture susceptibilities were considered, 5 of 38 patients had been prescribed an inappropriate antimicrobial agent. An ASP pharmacist intervened on 4 of 5 patients, resulting in 3 of 5 patients transitioning to appropriate antimicrobial therapy. When compared to a historical cohort, our transitions-of-care ASP yielded a 3.6-fold increase in antimicrobial-related interventions among discharged patients while reducing inappropriate outpatient antimicrobial therapy by 39%.


We believe this is the first pharmacist-driven ASP represented in the medical literature which evaluated all available inpatient culture data to serve patients discharged from the hospital. Antimicrobial stewardship for patients in care transitions may provide an opportunity to increase ASP interventions and reduce inappropriate antimicrobial therapy.

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