Pharmacy World and Science

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 208–216 | Cite as

Evolution of a method to collect and analyse antimicrobial prescribing data in a United Kingdom hospital

  • J. P. Hampson
  • J. E. Corkill
  • L. R. Griffiths
  • A. Murray
  • C. A. Bartzokas
  • J. C. Smith


To identify the most suitable method to continuously monitor antibiotic prescriptions in a United Kingdom hospital, a study was performed in three phases over four years between 1985 to 1989 in a Liverpool teaching hospital. The aim of the study was to perfect a method to collect and analyse hospital-wide antibiotic prescribing data. The emphasis was laid on identifying problems and practicalities and also to minimize manpower and resource requirements. The data were used to illustrate the effect of the hospital's antibiotic policy on prescribing trends. The policy recommendation that co-trimoxazole be substituted by trimelhoprim was only partially adhered to because Augmentin® was the other replacement antibiotic in a significant number of cases. Therefore, it is important to monitor the effects of target drug programmes on all antibiotics since certain sequelae may be unexpected. A total of 1,804, 2,526 and 3,226 antibiotic prescriptions were collected and analysed during phases I, II and III respectively. 72–73% of the prescriptions were for the treatment of infection which equated to 81–89% of the total antibiotic cost. Therefore, cost control campaigns need to concentrate on infection treatment as opposed to prophylaxis. Specifically, respiratory tract, septicaemia and pyrexias of unknown origin account for the bulk of antibiotic expenditure. The method for phases I and II was multidisciplinary and very time-consuming. Phase III was very fast in operation, with data collection and analysis being performed on a single computer dedicated for the task. The minimum staff required to monitor all antibiotic prescriptions is one full-time pharmacist and clerk. Continuous intensive antibiotic monitoring in United Kingdom hospitals will not be feasible until antibiotic prescription forms are introduced on all wards.


Antibiotics Automatic data processing Costs and cost analysis Data collection Drug utilization Formularies, hospital 


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Copyright information

© Royal Dutch Association for Advancement of Pharmacy 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. P. Hampson
    • 1
  • J. E. Corkill
    • 2
  • L. R. Griffiths
    • 3
  • A. Murray
    • 4
  • C. A. Bartzokas
    • 4
  • J. C. Smith
    • 5
  1. 1.Pharmacy Academic Practice Unit, Wrexham Medical InstituteWrexham, ClwydUK
  2. 2.Royal Liverpool University HospitalLiverpoolUK
  3. 3.Furness General HospitalFurnessUK
  4. 4.Bebington HospitalWirralUK
  5. 5.Zeneca PharmaceuticalsMacclesfieldUK

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