The North Wind and the Sun: Pediatric Antimicrobial Stewardship Program Combining Restrictive and Persuasive Approaches in Hematology-Oncology Ward and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Unit

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Background:The Japanese government’s goal for the reduction of antimicrobial consumption is two-thirds of the 2013 rate by 2020. While the antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) are essential in health care facilities, ASP data on pediatric hematology-oncology and hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) patients are limited. Our aim was to evaluate the impact of restrictive and persuasive ASP on immunocompromised children.Methods:The ASP for hematology-oncology and HSCT patients at Tokyo Metropolitan Children’s Medical Center was assessed. Phase 1 was a postprescriptive review of carbapenem conducted between April 2010 and September 2011. Phase 2 consisted of the preauthorization of carbapenem, prospective audit with feedback, a weekly luncheon meeting among physicians, consensus on febrile neutropenia management, and implementation of viral molecular diagnostics between October 2011 and September 2015. Both phases were compared for day-of-therapy per 1,000 patient-days, cost of intravenous antimicrobial agents, average hospitalization duration, all-cause mortality, infection-related mortality at 30 days, and appropriateness of empirical treatment of bacteremia.Results:The ASP did not differ from phase 1 to phase 2 in terms of average hospitalization length, mortality rate, or appropriateness of empirical treatment for bacteremia. Day-of-therapies of cefepime, piperacillin/tazobactam, meropenem, vancomycin, liposomal amphotericin B, and fosfluconazole decreased by 20%, 45%, 57%, 38%, 85% and 44%, respectively (P < 0.05). The total cost of antibiotic and antifungal agents decreased by 27%, for a savings of $59,905 USD annually.Conclusion:Restrictive and persuasive ASP in the hematology-oncology ward and the HSCT unit safely decreased the use of antibacterial and antifungal agents.

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