Multi disciplinary antimicrobial ward rounds have been demonstrated to be effective in promoting good antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) within hospitals. The ability to review patients’ current antibiotic treatment and intervene in a timely fashion is essential in this process. Hospital Electronic Prescribing and Medicines Administration (HEPMA), where available, is an invaluable aid in this but, for many Health Boards, its introduction is still a long time in the future.

In the absence of HEPMA, other surrogates can be used, such as pharmacy stock software, to identify patients requiring AMS review e.g. for use of “alert” antibiotics. These systems would not, however, provide patient-level information from stock issues to ward areas.

This study investigated the potential of ward electronic medicine dispensing cabinets to provide patient-level data on alert antibiotic use in a hospital where HEPMA was not in use. Daily reports on “alert” antibiotic issues were sent via automated message to the Consultant Microbiologist and Antimicrobial Pharmacist. Patients’ antibiotic use was then reviewed and documented using ICNET software.

Data from AMS ward rounds over a period prior to and after the introduction of electronic cabinet reporting were analysed. A 50% increase in the identification of alert antibiotic issues was seen after the introduction of electronic cabinet reporting. Over a one month period, time for AMS intervention was reduced by an average of 8h (range 3.5-28.5h) with the use of cabinet reporting.

Electronic cabinet reporting has been shown to be a useful tool for facilitating good antimicrobial stewardship in a general hospital.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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