Antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) have been advocated to improve antimicrobial utilization, but program implementation is variable.OBJECTIVE:
To determine associations between ASPs and facility characteristics, and inpatient antimicrobial utilization measures in the Veterans Affairs (VA) system in 2012.DESIGN:
In 2012, VA administered a survey on antimicrobial stewardship practices to designated ASP contacts at VA acute care hospitals. From the survey, we identified 34 variables across 3 domains (evidence, organizational context, and facilitation) that were assessed using multivariable least absolute shrinkage and selection operator regression against 4 antimicrobial utilization measures from 2012: aggregate acute care antimicrobial use, antimicrobial use in patients with non-infectious primary discharge diagnoses, missed opportunities to convert from parenteral to oral antimicrobial therapy, and double anaerobic coverage.SETTING:
All 130 VA facilities with acute care services.RESULTS:
Variables associated with at least 3 favorable changes in antimicrobial utilization included presence of postgraduate physician/pharmacy training programs, number of antimicrobial-specific order sets, frequency of systematic de-escalation review, presence of pharmacists and/or infectious diseases (ID) attendings on acute care ward teams, and formal ID training of the lead ASP pharmacist. Variables associated with 2 unfavorable measures included bed size, the level of engagement with VA Antimicrobial Stewardship Task Force online resources, and utilization of antimicrobial stop orders.CONCLUSIONS:
Formalization of ASP processes and presence of pharmacy and ID expertise are associated with favorable utilization. Systematic de-escalation review and order set establishment may be high-yield interventions.