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The purpose of this observational study is to evaluate the effect of an active pharmacy intervention to facilitate timely discontinuation of empiric vancomycin therapy in oncology patients with febrile neutropenia who lack objective evidence of a Gram-positive infection. This was a two-phase study. Vancomycin use was evaluated retrospectively on all oncology patients with febrile neutropenia over four weeks (phase I). In a parallel four weeks a year later, vancomycin use in this patient population was evaluated prospectively (phase II). In the absence of evidence of Gram-positive infection after 72 hours of treatment initiation, the team was contacted by a pharmacist to encourage discontinuation. Usage was compared between both phases. Forty-three patients in phase I and 25 patients in phase II were treated with vancomycin with no evidence for Gram-positive infections. Pharmacists’ interventions were documented on 18 patients in phase II. Of these, 56% of interventions to discontinue vancomycin were accepted, but only 33.3% of patients had treatment stopped within 72 hours of initiation. Although not significant, a trend in more appropriate use of vancomycin in oncology patients with febrile neutropenia was observed. Pharmacist’s interventions might have played a role in this observation.
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