International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 526–532 | Cite as

Evaluation of a pharmacy-driven methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus surveillance protocol in pneumonia

  • Sarah Dunaway
  • Kara W. Orwig
  • Zachary Q. Arbogast
  • Zachary L. Myers
  • James A. Sizemore
  • Stephanie E. GiancolaEmail author
Research Article


Background Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an important cause of pneumonia and clinicians must determine when empiric antimicrobial therapy directed toward MRSA is needed. Objective To evaluate the effect of a pharmacy-driven protocol utilizing the nasal swab MRSA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to discontinue vancomycin on duration of vancomycin therapy and clinical outcomes in patients with suspected community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) or healthcare-associated pneumonia (HCAP). Setting A teaching hospital in Huntington, WV, USA. Methods This retrospective study included adult patients who received at least one dose of vancomycin for suspected CAP or HCAP. The pre-intervention group consisted of patients prior to the addition of the nasal swab MRSA PCR test to the CAP/HCAP order set. The post-intervention group consisted of patients after the addition of the nasal swab MRSA PCR test to the CAP/HCAP order set. Main outcome measure The primary outcome was vancomycin hours of therapy. Results Of the 196 patients included in the study, 121 patients were in the pre-intervention group and 75 patients were in the post-intervention group. The median duration of vancomycin therapy was significantly shorter in the post-intervention group than the pre-intervention group (49 vs. 18 h, p < 0.001). There were no statistically significant differences in the secondary outcomes including hospital length of stay, 30-day readmission rate, and in-hospital all-cause mortality. Conclusion The addition of a pharmacy-driven protocol utilizing the nasal swab MRSA PCR test was associated with shorter duration of empiric vancomycin therapy by approximately 31 h per patient without increasing adverse clinical outcomes.


CAP HCAP MRSA Nasal swab Pneumonia United States Vancomycin 



We thank Dr. Todd Gress for his assistance with statistical analysis. This project was supported by the Marshall University School of Medicine Appalachian Clinical and Translational Science Institute (ACTSI). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the ACTSI.


This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah Dunaway
    • 1
  • Kara W. Orwig
    • 1
  • Zachary Q. Arbogast
    • 2
  • Zachary L. Myers
    • 2
  • James A. Sizemore
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stephanie E. Giancola
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.St. Mary’s Medical CenterHuntingtonUSA
  2. 2.Marshall University School of PharmacyHuntingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of PharmacyBrooke Army Medical CenterFort Sam HoustonUSA

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