Factors associated with inappropriate intravenous antibiotic prescription in patients discharged from the emergency department

David Medina-Catalán, Jesus Ruiz-Ramos*, Ana Juanes-Borrego, Sergio A. Herrera, Mireia Puig, María Antonia Mangues-Bafalluy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


What is known and Objective: Since 2011, a collaborative territorial network for urgent care has been deployed in Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau area, which allows direct and early transfer of patients with frailty from the hospital emergency department (ED) to other healthcare settings according to the destination's adequacy. This study aimed to identify factors associated with inappropriate intravenous antibiotic treatment prescribed on referral of patients with frailty based on microbiological culture and analyse the effect of inappropriate prescription on ED reconsultations for any cause 30 days after hospital discharge. Methods: This observational, retrospective study was performed at a tertiary hospital between March 2018 and February 2019 and included 264 patients. A multivariate analysis, including variables with a P-value <.2 in the previous univariate analysis, was conducted. The variables included in the analysis were age, sex, patient comorbidities (COPD, diabetes and chronic kidney disease), antibiotic treatment in the last 30 days and patient referral (nursing home or family home). Results and Discussion: Multidrug-resistant bacteria were isolated from 85 patients (51.5% of the isolates). In total, 159 patients received carbapenem, of whom 87 (54.7%) had non–drug-resistant bacteria. The antibiotic was considered inappropriate in 33 patients (12.5%) according to an antibiogram. Only 71 (26.8%) patients had a definitive culture on discharge. Moreover, 73 (28.3%) patients were readmitted after 30 days. Patients with an inappropriate antibiotic treatment had more reconsultations within 30 days than those with adequate treatment (59.3% vs 24.5%; P <.001). In a multivariate analysis, an inappropriate prescription was significantly associated with a higher number of reconsultations at 30 days (OR, 3.22 [1.37-7.57]). What is new and Conclusion: In patients discharged from the ED with intravenous antibiotics, the empirical prescription of an inappropriate drug according to the final culture is a frequent problem and is related to a higher number of reconsultations. This highlights the need to implement early communication strategies with outpatient units to optimize antibiotic therapy once microbiological results are known.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1149-1152
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • antibacterial agent
  • drug prescription
  • drug resistance
  • emergency department
  • reconsultation


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