About Point Prevalence Surveys

Why should my clinic participate?

How can my practice be a point prevalence survey site?

Frequently Asked Questions

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What are point prevalence surveys and why are they important?

Measurement and reporting of antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance is a core component of antimicrobial stewardship. In public health, the point prevalence survey approach has been used to establish national estimates of antimicrobial use in acute care and long-term care settings. A point prevalence survey is an approach to identify the number of people with a disease or condition at a specific point in time. In the case of antimicrobial use, the point prevalence survey has been used to determine the number of people receiving antimicrobial treatment on a given day. National point prevalence survey for healthcare settings have compiled the number of individuals on an antibiotic in many individual facilities into a national estimate of how many people receive antimicrobials in these settings per day. Information is also gathered about antimicrobial type, class, and reason for use, as well as general patient details.

Why should we consider conducting a national antimicrobial use point prevalence survey for companion animal veterinary medicine?

The companion animal (considered here as canine, feline, equine) veterinary profession lacks data to evaluate antimicrobial use and antimicrobial stewardship practices, but inappropriate antimicrobial use is likely as prevalent in clinic-based veterinary practice as it is in human medicine. In a single-center study, 38% of canine antibiotics in a veterinary teaching hospital were prescribed without documented evidence of infection (Wayne, 2011). The International Society for Companion Animal Infectious Diseases has published antimicrobial use guidelines for canine superficial bacterial folliculitis and for canine and feline urinary tract and respiratory tract disease. However, without antimicrobial use data, we cannot assess adherence to these guidelines, measure trends, or describe broader antimicrobial stewardship practices. Point prevalence surveys can be used to collect uniform data from multiple sites over a single time period, providing a snapshot of practice and information to guide profession-wide improvement.

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

The study is designed as a point prevalence survey. A designated vet, tech, or staffer in your practice will meet with a research project staff member for a maximum of 2-3 hours once quarterly for the next year (4 meetings) to review medical records from a representative day of practice (of your choosing) within a 2-week window each quarter. Depending on your case volume and how many patients your practice sees in a day, the time commitment may be shorter! You will be able to choose the date/time of the meeting from a broad window to ensure it is convenient for you and your practice. The first meeting will likely be in-person, and our staff will come to you to minimize inconvenience. Subsequent meetings may be held by teleconference, if possible, or we can continue to visit you at your location of choice.

Exactly what data do we plan to collect?

We do NOT want any information regarding your clients and you will NOT be giving us any direct access to your medical record system! Rather, your designated representative will work with us to collect data from your records system regarding all patients seen on those 4 specific quarterly days. The key information needed for each patient is age, breed, gender, chief body system affected, diagnosis, antibiotic treatment prescribed (if any), and culture/sensitivity results if available. Rest assured that the data you share with us will remain completely confidential, and any published summary of the study results will contain no information that will make it possible to identify any patient, client, or practice.

I might be interested but would like further information.

Absolutely - we would be delighted to talk further with you and share more details. Please reach out to Emma Leof, Program Manager and Lead Epidemiologist, University of Minnesota at cavsnet@umn.edu.

How is this project funded?

This work is supported by the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine Emerging, Zoonotic and Infectious Disease Signature Program.