Analysis of delays in the prescription of oseltamivir in hospitals and potential for improvement

Patients hospitalized for influenza should receive early treatment with a neuraminidase inhibitor.
We conducted a retrospective study of the prescription of oseltamivir during the 2016-2017 influenza epidemic among patients hospitalized for influenza confirmed by RT-PCR in the infectious disease department.
Treatment with oseltamivir was initiated as recommended in 96% of hospitalized patients presenting with influenza. However, a delay in prescription was observed with only 18% of prescriptions made on the first day. The prescriptions were exclusively initiated in the infectious disease department.
To improve the early prescription of oseltamivir during the influenza season, two recommendations are essential: oseltamivir availability in the emergency department pharmacy, awareness of physicians of the need to prescribe to any patient hospitalized for a lower respiratory tract infection treatment with a neuraminidase inhibitor upon admission to the emergency department.