Brief report: Reducing inappropriate usage of stress ulcer prophylaxis among internal medicine residents. A practice-based educational intervention.

Many inpatients receive stress ulcer prophylaxis (SUP) inappropriately. This indiscriminate usage increases costs and avoidable side-effects. Practice-based learning and improvement (PBLI) methodology may improve compliance with published guidelines.


To investigate the response of internal medicine residents to an educational intervention regarding SUP.


A prospective, pre and postintervention cohort study using an educational intervention based on PBLI.


Three groups of consecutively admitted patients (1 group preintervention and 2 groups postintervention) on the medicine ward at a University Hospital.


Rates of inappropriate SUP prescription and discharge with an inappropriate prescription.


One month after the intervention, inappropriate prophylaxis was significantly decreased (59% pre, 29% postintervention, P<.002). The rate of discharge with an inappropriate prescription also decreased, but was not significant (25% pre, 14% postintervention, P=.14). In the 6-month postintervention cohort, inappropriate SUP remained lower (59% pre, 33% postintervention, P<.007). The rate of discharge with an inappropriate prescription was also significantly lower (25% pre, 7% postintervention, P<.009).


Practice-based learning and improvement can improve compliance with published guidelines, and change practice patterns. After the intervention, both inappropriate prophylaxis and inappropriate prescriptions upon discharge were reduced. Importantly, the intervention was sustained, transmitted across academic years to a new class of interns who had not directly experienced the intervention.


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Liberman JD1
Whelan CT