Development and validation of an indicator to compare antibiotic usage in secondary care in England
The use of antibiotics was investigated in twelve acute hospitals in England. Data was collected electronically and by questionnaire for the financial years 2001/2, 2002/3 and 2003/4. Hospitals were selected on the basis of their Medicines Management Self-Assessment Scores (MMAS) and included a cohort of three hospitals with integrated electronic prescribing systems. The total sample size was 6.65% of English NHS activity for 2001/2 based on Finished Consultant Episode (FCE) numbers. Data collected included all antibiotics dispensed (ATC category J01), hospital activity FCE's and beddays, Medicines Management Self-assessment scores, Antibiotic Medicines Management scores (AMS), Primary Care Trust (PCT) of origin of referral populations, PCT antibiotic prescribing rates, Index of Multiple Deprivation for each PCT. The DDD/FCE (Defined Daily Dose/FCE) was found to correlate with the DDD 100beddays (r = 0.74 p < O.O I) indicating this is a useful additional indicator for identifying hospitals that require further study. Antibiotic use increased from a mean 4.16 DDD/FCE in 2001/2 to 4.35 DDD/FCE in 2003/4. Antibiotic use in the electronic prescribing cohort was found to be lower, than the sample mean at 3.48 DDD/FCE in 2001/2 and 3.34 DDD/FCE in 2003/4. The MMAS and AMS were found to correlate (r = 0.74 p < O.O I) thus validating the use of the MMAS as an indication of control of antibiotic use. No correlation was found between the MMAS and a range of qualitative indicators of antibiotic use. A number of indicators are proposed as triggers for further investigation including a proportion of 0.24 for the ratio of third generation to first/second generation cephalosporin use, and five percent as the limit for parenteral quinolone DOD of total quinolone DOD usage. It was possible to demonstrate a correlation between the IMD 2000 and primary care antibiotic prescribing rates but not between primary and secondary care antibiotic prescribing rates for the same referral population or between the weighted mean IMD 2000 for each hospital's referral population and the hospital antibiotic prescribing rate.