Reducing unnecessary utilization of antibiotics could save hospitals $1 billion annually, according to a study from VHA.
The research by VHA, the not-for-profit hospital cooperative, found 24% to 68% of patients treated with three widely used antibiotics--levofloxacin, ceftriaxone and vancomycin--were being over-treated or unnecessarily treated, based on clinical guidelines for their conditions.
"There has been growing concern about the public health consequences related to the overuse of antibiotics," says John Hitt, M.D., vice president of clinical performance improvement for VHA, in a written statement. "This study shows that when hospitals are committed to using antibiotics properly, they also can save money."
The study examined antibiotic use at 11 hospitals for patients with renal failure or urinary tract infections, or preventive antibiotic use for post-surgical infections. New antibiotics procedures at those hospitals showed financial savings and improved clinical care.
An average 250-bed hospital could save more than $100,000 each year by improving antibiotic usage, Hitt says. Savings also could be derived from reducing antibiotic-related complications such as adverse drug reactions and catheter infections.
The potential savings opportunities for each of thee three antibiotics studied are:
- Levofloxacin: $9.43 to $41 per patient
- Ceftriaxone: $56.88 per patient
- Vancomycin: $71.87 to $400 per patient