Identification of targets for quality improvement in antimicrobial prescribing: the web-based ESAC Point Prevalence Survey 2009

Peter Zarb, Brice Amadeo, Arno Muller, Nico Drapier, Vanessa Vankerckhoven, Peter Davey, Herman Goossens, ESAC-3 Hosp Care Subproject Grp

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    130 Citations (Scopus)


    Since electronic prescribing is limited to few hospitals, point prevalence surveys, such as the standardized European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption point prevalence survey (ESAC PPS), are an alternative tool for monitoring prescribing and helping to identify performance indicators and prescribing trends. The main objective of this study was to identify and assess targets for quality improvement.

    Each hospital had to carry out the survey within 2 weeks. Each department had to be surveyed in 1day. Data collected, for all inpatients, included age and gender. For patients on systemic antimicrobial treatment, the antimicrobial/s, infection/prophylaxis site, reason in medical notes and guideline compliance were also collected. A central database using a web-based tool (WebPPS) developed in-house was used for data entry.

    Combination of two or more antimicrobials accounted for 30% of use. Surgical prophylaxis was prolonged (> 1 day) in 53% of cases. 'Intensive care' had higher proportions of treated patients (53% versus 29%), combination therapy (49% versus 31%), hospital-acquired infections (49% versus 31%) and parenteral administration (91% versus 61%). 'Reason in notes' was documented in 76%, and 'guideline compliance' occurred in 62% of patients.

    The ESAC PPS provided useful information on the quality of prescribing, which identified a number of targets for quality improvement. These could apply to specific departments or whole hospitals. Intensive care, which has different characteristics, should not be compared with general wards with respect to combination therapy, hospital-acquired infections or parenteral proportion. The study confirmed that the ESAC PPS methodology can be used on a large number of hospitals at regional, national, continental or global level.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)443-449
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


    • antimicrobial consumption
    • hospitals
    • Europe
    • point prevalence surveys
    • SWITCH
    • RISK


    Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of targets for quality improvement in antimicrobial prescribing: the web-based ESAC Point Prevalence Survey 2009'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this