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Ø 2B RESOURCE: A Comparison of Antibiotic Data Sources

Tools and Resources

Purpose: A tool to review sources of antibiotic data.

Source: Developed by B. Ostrowsky and P. Chung, Montefiore Medical Center, for ERASE C. difficile Project toolkit.

Instructions: Use this chart when considering sources of antibiotic data, including strengths and weaknesses.

SourceAdvantagesDisadvantages
Purchasing
  • Easiest data to obtain for baseline (most pharmacies track, even if not full computerized physician order entry [CPOE]).
  • Can be converted into defined daily doses to get estimates of use.
  • Comparison possible before and after interventions.
  • Simple to convey results to stakeholder.
  • Likely aggregated facility-level data only (not patient level).
  • May be influenced by contract pricing.
  • Can vary at different times of year (since ordering can be sporadic and availability of generic and other drugs can vary over time).
Orders
  • Can be aggregated by patient.
  • Represents only prescriber intent (orders change) and not necessarily what patients receive.
  • Unless done by chart review, requires some pharmacy electronic tracking system.
Medication dispensed
  • Can be aggregated by patient.
  • Represents what pharmacy dispenses and not necessarily what patients actually receive (medication may be wasted).
  • Unless done by chart review, requires some pharmacy electronic tracking system.
Medications received
  • Best data; represents actual medication receipt.
  • Can be aggregated by patient.
  • Unless done by chart review, requires CPOE or other advanced pharmacy electronic tracking system.
  • Needs information technology to help obtain, organize, and aggregate data in meaningful way.
  • Labor intensive to clean and aggregate (often large files).
Return to Question 2
Page last reviewed September 2012
Internet Citation: Ø 2B RESOURCE: A Comparison of Antibiotic Data Sources: Tools and Resources. September 2012. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/patient-safety-resources/resources/cdifftoolkit/cdiffl2tools2b.html