In a recent quality improvement project, researchers from Children’s National Hospital found that antimicrobial stewardship initiatives are beneficial in standardizing care and fostering positive working relationships between cystic fibrosis (CF) pulmonologists, infectious disease physicians and pharmacists.
Antimicrobial stewardship is a systematic effort to change prescribing attitudes that can provide benefit for people with CF. The objective of this effort was to decrease unwarranted use of broad-spectrum antibiotics for children and adolescents with CF. Through initiation of the empiric antibiotic algorithm, researchers found that the proportion of pulmonary exacerbations with antibiotic use consistent with the algorithm increased from 46.2% to 79.5%.
“This work will provide people with CF the expectation of a more consistent approach in their care, as well as the benefits of care from a multidisciplinary team of experts,” said Andrea Hahn, M.D., an infectious diseases specialist at Children’s National and co-author. “Implementing antimicrobial stewardship in the context of care to persons with CF provides benefit in this complex patient population.”
Despite national consensus guidelines for antibiotic treatment for pulmonary exacerbations in people with CF, prior research and systematic reviews have repeatedly demonstrated a longstanding lack of sufficient evidence for empiric antibiotic therapy recommendations, leading to a significant variation in how antibiotics are prescribed across CF care centers in the United States.
The researchers found that implementing antimicrobial stewardship when caring for people with CF provides benefit in this complex patient population.
“We would encourage other CF centers to explore their own trends in practice to determine whether a similar intervention may be both feasible and beneficial in the treatment of pulmonary exacerbations in persons with CF,” said Dr. Hahn.