Nurses’ and Physicians’ Responses to a New Active Antimicrobial Stewardship Program: A Two-Phase Study of Responses and Their Underlying Perceptions and Values

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Department of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel

2 Faculty of Medicine, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

3 School of Business Administration, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

Abstract

Background 
Successful implementation of an antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) depends on staff members’ response to it. We introduced at the Hadassah Medical Center in Israel a significant change to our long-standing handshake ASP. As before, the new ASP involved a dialogue between the treating physician and the infectious disease physician over the appropriate antibiotic therapy. The main change was that the infectious disease physician’s decision was now integrated into the patient’s electronic medical record (EMR). Our purpose in this study was to uncover the concerns and expectations of physicians and nurses towards the new ASP, before and after its implementation, and link these with their basic perceptions of the ASP and their personal values.

Methods 
We used open-ended questions and Likert-type scales to study staff members’ personal values, basic perceptions of the new system, and attitudes towards it, both before (N = 143), and one year after (N = 103) the system’s implementation. Relationships of the system’s perceptions and personal values with attitudes toward the system were tested using correlations and multiple regression analyses.

Results 
Prior to its implementation, physicians and nurses had multiple concerns about the new ASP’s demandingness and inefficiency and its threat to physicians’ autonomy and expertise. They also had positive expectations for benefits to the hospital, the patients and society. A year later, following the system’s implementation, concerns dissipated, whereas the perceived benefits remained. Moreover, staff members’ attitudes tended to be more positive among those who value conformity.

Conclusion 
Introducing new ASPs is a challenging process. Our findings suggest that hospital staff ’s initial concerns about the new ASP were primarily about its ease of use and demandingness. These concerns, which diminished over time, were linked with perceived satisfaction with the system. Conformity values had an indirect effect in predicting satisfaction with the system, mediated by perceptions of the system as straightforward.

Keywords


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Articles in Press, Corrected Proof
Available Online from 09 May 2022
  • Receive Date: 26 June 2021
  • Revise Date: 07 May 2022
  • Accept Date: 08 May 2022
  • First Publish Date: 09 May 2022