Percent of Surgery Patients with Antibiotics Discontinued Appropriately
Why Is This Important?
Antibiotics are often given to patients before surgery to prevent infection. Taking these antibiotics for more than 24 hours after routine surgery is usually not necessary. Continuing the medication longer than necessary can increase the risk of side effects such as stomach aches and serious types of diarrhea. Also, when antibiotics are used for too long, patients can develop resistance to them and the antibiotics will not work as well.
About This Graph
This measure indicates how often hospital staff discontinue antibiotics at the right time. The graph compares UMass Memorial Medical Center performance with other Massachusetts and U.S. hospitals. Higher percentages are better. (Graph data: Jan 2011 - Dec 2011.)
What Are We Doing to Improve?
We have enlisted the support of all of our surgical divisions to excel in this measure. Postoperative physician orders are being revised to include an automatic "stop order" for postoperative antibiotics on all of our surgical patients within 24 hours. We will continue our quality improvement efforts to monitor our progress in this area.