Pharmacists' perceptions of the effectiveness of antimicrobial control programs.

American journal of health-system pharmacy : AJHP : official journal of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists

PubMedID: 17158699

Itokazu GS, Schwartz DN, Garey KW, Rodvold KA, Danziger LH, Weinstein RA. Pharmacists' perceptions of the effectiveness of antimicrobial control programs. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2006;63(24):2504-8.
PURPOSE
The perceptions of the effectiveness of antimicrobial control programs (ACPs) among infectious diseases (ID) pharmacists were studied.

METHODS
A survey asking pharmacists to characterize the ACP in their hospitals and rate the program's effectiveness was distributed electronically in 1999 and by regular mail in 2000 to all 365 members of the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists residing in North America.

RESULTS
Of the 365 surveys distributed, 323 (88.5%) were completed, 233 of which were eligible for analysis. Most respondents (99%) indicated the use of one or more ACP components (mean +/- S.D., 4.3 +/- 1.9) in their hospitals. The ACP components used most frequently included prescriber education, review of patient medical records, formularies, prior authorization, infectious diseases consultation, and clinical practice guidelines. A similar percentage of respondents indicated that ID pharmacists and ID physicians directly participated in implementing and monitoring the effectiveness of ACPs (57% and 58%, respectively). Of the 231 respondents whose hospitals had an ACP, 73% perceived that their ACP effectively addressed antimicrobial resistance, patient outcomes, or costs, with cost reduction viewed as being accomplished more often than the improvement of patient outcomes or containment of antimicrobial resistance (62%, 35%, and 38%, respectively; p < 0.001). Many indicated uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of their ACP, with a substantial percentage of respondents believing that the level of support for these programs was inadequate.

CONCLUSION
ID pharmacists in 231 North American hospitals perceived that their ACP was not sufficiently effective at improving patient outcomes, containing antimicrobial resistance, and decreasing medication costs, possibly due to inadequate institutional support for the program.