Background: Quantifying antibiotic use is an essential element of antibiotic stewardship since it allows comparison between different settings and time windows, and measurement of the impact of interventions. However, quantity metrics (QMs) and methods have not been standardized.
Objectives: To propose a set of QMs for antibiotic use in inpatients (IQMs) that are accepted globally by professionals in a range of disciplines. The study was conducted within the Driving Reinvestment in Research and Development and Responsible Antibiotic Use (DRIVE-AB) project.
Methods: A systematic literature review using MEDLINE identified articles on measuring inpatient antibiotic use, published up to 29 January 2015. A consensually selected list of national and international web sites was screened for additional IQMs. IQMs were classified according to the type of numerator used and presented to a multidisciplinary panel of stakeholders. A RAND-modified Delphi consensus procedure, which consisted of two online questionnaires and a face-to-face meeting, was performed.
Results: The systematic literature review and web site search identified 168 eligible articles from which an initial list of 20 IQMs, composed of 20 different numerators and associated denominators was developed. The consensus procedure resulted in a final set of 12 IQMs. Among this final set, DDDs per 100(0) patient-days and days of therapy per patient-days were most frequently found in the review. The panel recommended that antibiotic use should be expressed in at least two metrics simultaneously.
Conclusions: Our consensus procedure identified a set of IQMs that we propose as an evidence-based global standard.