About Point-Prevalence Surveys

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How will participation benefit my practice?

How can my clinic participate?

Frequently Asked Questions

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What are point-prevalence surveys and why are they important?

In public health, the point-prevalence survey (PPS) approach has been used to establish national estimates of antibiotic use (AU) in acute care and long-term care settings. PPS is used to determine the percent of a population that has a disease, or is receiving a treatment, at a single point in time. The PPS approach has been used to estimate the percent of hospitalized human patients who are receiving an antibiotic on any given day, or, put another way, the prevalence of antibiotic use. A national estimate is made by compiling a single day of data from many individual facilities, including antibiotic type, drug class, and reason for use.

Why should we consider conducting a national AU PPS for small animal veterinary medicine?

Currently, no national estimates of AU exist in small animal medicine. A national AU PPS in small animal medicine will allow identification of situations in which antibiotics are used that may be contributing to antibiotic-resistant infections in cats and dogs. The International Society for Companion Animal Infectious Diseases (ISCAID) has published AU guidelines for canine superficial bacterial folliculitis and for canine and feline urinary tract and respiratory tract disease. However, without AU data, we cannot determine how well the profession is adhering to these guidelines and whether we are improving over time. By using the PPS methodology, we can compile uniform data from many clinics, providing a snapshot of prescribing practices and highlighting opportunities to improve care.

What are the goals of this national PPS?

The goal of this study is to establish a national estimate of AU in general and referral small animal clinics and to describe how and why antibiotics are prescribed to small animal patients. This information will be used to identify antibiotic stewardship (AS) objectives, define interventions to improve prescribing, and track progress. There are no published national data on AU in U.S. companion animal hospitals and few data on practices in individual hospitals. Since 2018, a research team at the University of Minnesota (UMN) College of Veterinary Medicine has used the PPS approach to measure and track AU in a single hospital and to describe AU in 19 companion animal general practices in the region. The team has also applied this methodology to conduct a national single-day PPS of AU in veterinary teaching hospitals

I want to help, but what exactly will I be getting myself into?

The time commitment for participation each year is expected to be 1 hour for an online training, 1–5 hours for data entry based on patient caseload, and follow-up communication with UMN for data validation.

  • Mar–Aug 2021: UMN will conduct clinic recruitment and establish participation agreements. Participating clinics will receive training in data collection and will complete a facility survey about antibiotic use.
  • Aug 16–29, 2021: Collect medical record data from a single day of practice during this date range.
  • Aug 16–Oct 31, 2021: Wrap up data entry and complete a post-study survey.
  • Conduct another single day of data collection in 2023.
  • Total yearly commitment is expected to be <8 hours, but will vary based on patient caseload.

What data do you want us to collect?

  • We will not collect any information about your clients or your veterinary staff.
  • Your designated representative (veterinarian, veterinary technician, other staff) will collect patient signalment, primary visit reason and chief complaint, diagnostic tests and imaging conducted (if any), and any antibiotics that a patient is prescribed, administered, or currently receiving.
  • Data will remain confidential.
  • Data from all participating clinics will be compiled to establish a national estimate of antibiotic use in small animal medicine.

How can I find out more and ask questions?

How is this project funded?

Funding for this project is being made possible by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through grant number 1U01FD007061-01 and the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine Emerging, Zoonotic, and Infectious Disease Signature Program. Individual participating facility data are not shared with FDA.

Can I see results from the 2021 survey?

In 2021, a national antibiotic use point-prevalence survey in 52 U.S. general and non-academic referral hospitals was conducted. Learn about those results in this one-page infographic.