OBJECTIVES: To assess the effectiveness of a combined intervention on the moment and rate of switching from intravenous (IV) to oral antibiotic therapy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study used a historically controlled prospective intervention design. Interventions consisted of educating physicians, handing out pocket-sized cards and providing switch advice in the electronic patient record. All patients hospitalized at the surgery department who were treated with IV antibiotics for 24 hours or longer and fulfilled the switch criteria within 72 hours of IV treatment were included. Outcomes before and during the intervention were compared.
RESULTS: An early IV to oral switch took place in 35.4% (35/99) of the antibiotic courses in the baseline period and in 67.7% (42/62) of the antibiotic courses in the intervention period (odds ratio 3.84, 95% confidence interval 1.96 - 7.53). Duration of IV therapy was significantly reduced from 5 to 3 days (p<0.01). Length of hospitalization was reduced from 6 to 5 days (p<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: The intervention methods were effective in promoting an early IV to oral antibiotic switch by shortening the length of IV therapy and hospital stay.