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The Differences in Antibiotic Decision-making Between Acute Surgical and Acute Medical Teams: An Ethnographic Study of Culture and Team Dynamics.

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posted on 03.06.2019, 13:49 by E Charani, R Ahmad, TM Rawson, E Castro-Sanchèz, C Tarrant, AH Holmes
Background: Cultural and social determinants influence antibiotic decision-making in hospitals. We investigated and compared cultural determinants of antibiotic decision-making in acute medical and surgical specialties. Methods: An ethnographic observational study of antibiotic decision-making in acute medical and surgical teams at a London teaching hospital was conducted (August 2015-May 2017). Data collection included 500 hours of direct observations, and face-to-face interviews with 23 key informants. A grounded theory approach, aided by Nvivo 11 software, analyzed the emerging themes. An iterative and recursive process of analysis ensured saturation of the themes. The multiple modes of enquiry enabled cross-validation and triangulation of the findings. Results: In medicine, accepted norms of the decision-making process are characterized as collectivist (input from pharmacists, infectious disease, and medical microbiology teams), rationalized, and policy-informed, with emphasis on de-escalation of therapy. The gaps in antibiotic decision-making in acute medicine occur chiefly in the transition between the emergency department and inpatient teams, where ownership of the antibiotic prescription is lost. In surgery, team priorities are split between 3 settings: operating room, outpatient clinic, and ward. Senior surgeons are often absent from the ward, leaving junior staff to make complex medical decisions. This results in defensive antibiotic decision-making, leading to prolonged and inappropriate antibiotic use. Conclusions: In medicine, the legacy of infection diagnosis made in the emergency department determines antibiotic decision-making. In surgery, antibiotic decision-making is perceived as a nonsurgical intervention that can be delegated to junior staff or other specialties. Different, bespoke approaches to optimize antibiotic prescribing are therefore needed to address these specific challenges.

Funding

This work was funded by Economic and Social Science Research Council as part of the Antimicrobial Cross Council initiative [ES/P008313/1] supported by the seven UK research councils, and the Global Challenges Research Fund and the National Institute for Health Research, UK Department of Health [HPRU-2012-10047] in partnership with Public Health England.

History

Citation

Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2018, ciy844

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF LIFE SCIENCES/School of Medicine/Department of Health Sciences

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Clinical Infectious Diseases

Publisher

Oxford University Press (OUP) for Infectious Diseases Society of America

eissn

1537-6591

Acceptance date

28/09/2018

Copyright date

2018

Available date

03/06/2019

Publisher version

https://academic.oup.com/cid/advance-article/doi/10.1093/cid/ciy844/5174860

Notes

Supplementary materials are available at Clinical Infectious Diseases online. Consisting of data provided by the authors to benefit the reader, the posted materials are not copyedited and are the sole responsibility of the authors, so questions or comments should be addressed to the corresponding author.

Language

en

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