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No Negative Consequences of Guidelines for Antibiotic Therapy

No change in length of stay, total costs, inpatient pharmacy costs among children with pneumonia

TUESDAY, Jan. 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) — For children with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), there are no negative consequences associated with use of guideline-recommended antibiotic therapy, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Joanna Thomson, M.D., M.P.H., from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study involving children aged 3 months to 18 years, hospitalized with CAP. The authors examined the impact of empiric guideline-recommended antibiotic therapy on outcomes. Length of stay, total hospital costs, and inpatient pharmacy costs were assessed as the primary outcomes.

The researchers found that empiric guideline-recommended therapy was prescribed to 76 percent of 220 patients. There was no significant difference in length of stay (adjusted −5.8 percent change), total costs (adjusted −10.9 percent change), or inpatient pharmacy costs (adjusted 14.8 percent change) among those who did and did not receive guideline-recommended therapy. Secondary outcomes (including broadened antibiotic therapy, emergency department revisits, and readmissions) were rare and did not vary in unadjusted analyses according to receipt of guideline-recommended therapy.

“Our findings highlight the importance of changing antibiotic prescribing practices to reflect guideline recommendations, as there was no evidence of negative unintended consequences with our local practice change,” the authors write.

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