Measuring the impact of varying denominator definitions on standardized antibiotic consumption rates: Implications for antimicrobial stewardship programmes

Sean N. Avedissian, Marc H. Scheetz, Teresa R. Zembower, Christina Silkaitis, Robert Maxwell, Charles Jenkins, Michael J. Postelnick, Sarah H. Sutton, Nathaniel J. Rhodes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: To quantify the impact of varying the at-risk days definition on the overall report of at-risk days and on the calculated standardized consumption rates (SCRs) for piperacillin/tazobactam, amikacin, daptomycin and vancomycin. Methods: Data were evaluated for two system hospitals, an 894 bed academic centre and a 114 bed community hospital. Aggregate inpatient antibiotic administration and occupancy data were extracted from electronic databases at the facility-wide level. Occupancy data were reported from admission–discharge–transfer systems. At-risk days were defined as hospital days present (DP), patient days (PD), persons present (PP) and billing days (BD). Inpatient antimicrobial days of therapy (DOT) across four major antimicrobial agents were used to calculate facility-wide SCRs using each denominator and were evaluated by least-squares regression and R 2 values. Results: Within the 894 bed academic hospital, the average monthly facility-wide days were 28424, 22198, 15957 and 14789 by the DP, PP, PD and BD definitions, respectively. Within the 114 bed community hospital, the average monthly facility-wide days were 5175, 3523 and 2816 by the DP, PP and PD definitions, respectively. Strong concordance was observed between facility-wide SCRs using the DP and PP definitions in both the academic (R 2 " 0.99, y " 0.78x # 0.001) and community (R 2 " 0.99, y " 0.68x # 0.03) centres across all four inpatient antibiotics evaluated. In an analysis of piperacillin/tazobactam SCRs, rates were over-predicted by 28%–93% at the facility-wide level across centres using alternative denominators. Conclusions: We found that data source and definitions of at-risk denominator days meaningfully impact antibiotic SCRs. Centres should carefully consider these potential sources of variation when setting consumption benchmarks and internally evaluating use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2876-2882
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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