Education to improve vancomycin use: the perspectives of educators and education recipients

Bethany A. Van Dort*, Melissa T. Baysari, Jane E. Carland, Sophie L. Stocker, Hannah E. Braithwaite, Anna R. Fernon, Richard O. Day

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Vancomycin is the primary treatment for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections. Hospital audits have showed that dosing and therapeutic drug monitoring practices for vancomycin are suboptimal. Limited studies have examined the current educational resources used to support vancomycin use. Aims: To explore and compare the perceptions of health educators and recipients of education on the methods currently used to educate health professionals about vancomycin and to identify ideal methods of education. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with health educators around Australia and with recipients of education (doctors and nurses). Interview questions explored previous experiences of education and perceptions of ideal methods of education. Interviews were audio-taped, transcribed and thematically analysed. Results: Health educators explained that current vancomycin education comprises large-scale presentations, but they perceived these to be ineffective. The recipients of vancomycin education reported a lack of formal education on vancomycin. Despite this, both educators and recipients agreed on the ideal methods of education: nurses are reported to be protocol driven, and education for nurses should be through in-services or e-learning modules, while doctors require an evidenced-based approach. Senior doctors initially require convincing that education is needed. Once convinced, they respond well to brief emails and case-based and one-on-one education strategies. Technology-based strategies and problem-based learning were observed to be effective methods for junior doctors. Conclusions: Vancomycin dosing and therapeutic drug monitoring involves multiple health professionals, but current education strategies do not take this into account. Ideal education strategies need to be multimodal and targeted to specific health profession groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-572
Number of pages8
JournalInternal Medicine Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


  • education
  • health professional
  • interview
  • qualitative research
  • vancomycin


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