Poor compliance with an antibiotic directive—A call for intensified monitoring

Frederik Novak, Jens T. Hørlück, Jacob D. Redder, Paul W. Denton, Merete Storgaard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In April 2017, the Central Denmark Region Antibiotic Stewardship Committee issued a directive to reduce the general use of piperacillin-tazobactam and prescribe narrow-spectrum antibiotics for mild and moderate pneumonia. The directive was distributed to all regional hospital clinicians. Methods: Electronic medical records were used to obtain de-identified details of all antibiotics administered (together with diagnosis codes) to all in-hospital patients (pre-directive and post-directive) in the nine regional hospitals. Average moving range statistical process control charts were used to analyze pre-directive and post-directive variation in antibiotic usage patterns. Results: Upon the distribution of the directive, a period of decline of the overall usage of piperacillin-tazobactam ensued. Rather than benzylpenicillin, as recommended for pneumonia, the initial decline in piperacillin/tazobactam usage was accompanied by increased use of cefuroxime. Conclusions: A steward-directed reduction in piperacillin-tazobactam usage was accompanied by less desirable usage of a broad-spectrum alternative. Future antibiotic stewardship initiatives will hopefully benefit from close monitoring and timely feedback to clinicians. A dialogue with clinicians based on near real-time data is predicted to improve antibiotic stewardship actions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-478
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Antibiotic stewardship
  • Antibiotic usage
  • Electronic monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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