About Point Prevalence Surveys

Why should my veterinary teaching hospital participate?

How can my veterinary teaching hospital 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 (AU) and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a core component of antimicrobial stewardship (AS). In public health, the point prevalence survey (PPS) approach has been used to establish national estimates of AU in acute care and long-term care settings. A PPS is an approach to identify the number of people with a disease or condition at a specific point in time. In the case of AU, the PPS has been used to determine the number of people receiving antimicrobial treatment on a given day. National PPS 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 veterinary profession lacks data to evaluate AU and AS practices, but inappropriate AU 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. 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 assess adherence to these guidelines, measure trends, or describe broader AS practices. PPS can be used to collect uniform data from multiple sites over a single time period, providing a snapshot of practice and valuable information to guide profession-wide improvement.

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

Each participating facility must identify a primary contact for this study. This person, or his/her designated team, will be responsible for obtaining local ethics approval (e.g., Institutional Review Board, IRB), if necessary, completing a facility survey (e.g., services offered, hospital capacity, urban/rural characteristics), attending an online training session, identifying a survey date, generating a census of patients on study services on the survey date, collecting medical record information for each animal included in that census into an online data collection tool, completing an assessment survey of how data collection went, and communicating with the University of Minnesota research team for data validation and other study coordination.

Approximately 10 hours will be required for each survey year, however, an exact time estimate will vary depending on size of clinic.

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 Facility Coordinator will collect data from your records system regarding all patients seen on a specified date and enter information into an electronic database (REDCap). The key information needed for each patient is patient signalment, reason for visit and chief complaint, diagnostic tests and imaging conducted (if any), and antibiotics prescribed (if any).

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.