For example, at one of the smallest hospitals in the study, with 68 beds, the average use of antimicrobials per patient day was 1.07, compared with an 804-bed hospital where the average use per patient day was 0.34.
In an e-mail yesterday, one of the poster authors, Ascension pharmacist Roy Guharoy, elaborates:
"Our hypothesis was hospitals with higher acuity (aka case mix index) should use more antibiotics," he writes. "But our findings were different and found that smaller hospitals with lower acuity use more antibiotic than hospitals with higher acuity.
"We also found huge practice variances among the hospitals. The variation may be due to limited resources or lack of expertise or teamwork between the stakeholders."
Guharoy added that the Ascension research documented several factors associated with higher antibiotic use at smaller hospitals:
Obama to the Rescue
This is where President Obama's proposed FY2015 budget comes in.
A line item would double the CDC's funding to combat antibiotic resistance, with $30 million per year over five years for the Detect and Protect Against Antibiotic Resistance. The initiative would "identify the sources of emerging infectious diseases faster, determine whether microbes are resistant to antibiotics, and study how microbes are moving through a population."