Prevalence, characteristics, and perception of nursery antibiotic stewardship coverage in the United States

Joseph B. Cantey, Niraj Vora, Mridula Sunkara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background. Prolonged or unnecessary antibiotic use is associated with adverse outcomes in infants. Antibiotic stewardship programs (ASPs) aim to prevent these adverse outcomes and optimize antibiotic prescribing. However, data evaluating ASP coverage of nurseries are limited. The objectives of this study were to describe the characteristics of nurseries with and without ASP coverage and to determine perceptions of and barriers to nursery ASP coverage. Methods. The 2014 American Hospital Association annual survey was used to randomly select a level III neonatal intensive care unit from all 50 states. A level I and level II nursery from the same city as the level III nursery were then randomly selected. Hospital, nursery, and ASP characteristics were collected. Nursery and ASP providers (pharmacists or infectious disease providers) were interviewed using a semistructured template. Transcribed interviews were analyzed for themes. Results. One hundred forty-six centers responded; 104 (71%) provided nursery ASP coverage. In multivariate analysis, level of nursery, university affiliation, and number of full-time equivalent ASP staff were the main predictors of nursery ASP coverage. Several themes were identified from interviews: unwanted coverage, unnecessary coverage, jurisdiction issues, need for communication, and a focus on outcomes. Most providers had a favorable view of nursery ASP coverage. Conclusions. Larger, higher-acuity nurseries in university-affiliated hospitals are more likely to have ASP coverage. Low ASP staffing and a perceived lack of importance were frequently cited as barriers to nursery coverage. Most nursery ASP coverage is viewed favorably by providers, but nursery providers regard it as less important than ASP providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e30-e35
JournalJournal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibiotic
  • NICU
  • Neonate
  • Nursery
  • Stewardship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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