Prophylactic antibiotic compliance with published guidelines

Brian L. Erstad, Jill M. Schultz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose: To examine the rate of compliance with National Surgical Infection Prevention Project performance measures and compliance with American Society of Health-System Pharmacists guidelines for procedures not covered by these measures and to evaluate noncompliance for explanatory factors. Methods: A retrospective review of all patients receiving prophylactic antibiotics for Class I (clean) or Class II (clean-contaminated) surgical procedures. Information collected included antibiotic ordered, antibiotic given, dose of antibiotic, time of administration, time of incision, time of closure, duration of procedure, need for re-dosing during the procedure, documentation of re-dosing administered, and antibiotic discontinuation. Results: Choice of antibiotic for prophylaxis was appropriate in 99% of the 568 procedures. Antibiotic was administered too early in 94 of 527 (17.8%) patients. Prophylactic antibiotics were inappropriately continued for more than 24 hours in 43 of 216 (20%) patients undergoing noncardiothoracic procedures and for more than 48 hours in 4 of 10 (40%) in patients undergoing cardiothoracic surgery. Conclusion: Although improvements in key performance measures related to prophylactic antibiotic agent selection, timing of administration, and discontinuation have been made compared to data collected in a larger multicenter study conducted at the beginning of this century, there remains considerable room for improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-305
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Antibacterial agents
  • Antibiotic prophylaxis
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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