Drug utilization review in a teaching hospital: experience with vancomycin.

A prospective, two-phase, drug utilization review (DUR) was performed at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) to determine the extent and pattern of vancomycin use. For all patients commencing oral or parenteral vancomycin, treatment indication, route of administration, duration of therapy, results of culture and sensitivity tests, adverse drug reactions and results of therapeutic drug level monitoring were recorded. Vancomycin courses were classified as being for therapy or prophylaxis and compared with predetermined audit criteria to assess appropriateness of use. During the 8 week initial phase, data on 62 treatment courses in 59 patients were recorded, 50% for therapy and 50% for prophylaxis. Sixty four percent were classified as inappropriate, occurring in 32% of therapeutic courses and 97% of those for prophylaxis. During the 10 week re-evaluation, conducted 10 months later, data for 43 treatment courses in 43 patients were reviewed, 42% for therapy and 58% for prophylaxis. Sixty five percent were inappropriate occurring in 17% of therapeutic courses and 100% of the prophylactic courses. When compared with the initial phase, the re-evaluation demonstrated a decrease in the empirical use of vancomycin in the combination treatment of neutropaenic fever and also in the duration of vancomycin use for surgical prophylaxis. During both study phases, criteria contraventions were mostly due to inappropriate indication or duration of therapy. The cost of inappropriate vancomycin use was reduced by over 50% between survey phases, from $Aus11,500 or 55% of total vancomycin cost during the initial phase to $Aus3,600 or 25.7% during the re-evaluation. The most effective of the remedial strategies implemented after the initial phase was direct consultation with prescriber groups.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


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Misan GM
Martin ED
Smith ER
Somogyi AA
Bartholomeusz RC
Bochner F