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The intensity of an antibiotic stewardship intervention to achieve clinical impact is not known. We conducted a multisite dissemination project of an intervention to reduce treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) and studied: (1) the association between implementation metrics and clinical outcomes and (2) the cost of implementation.
A central site facilitated a multimodality intervention to decrease unnecessary urine cultures and antibiotic treatment in patients with ASB at 4 Veterans Affairs medical centers.
The intervention consisted of a decision support aid algorithm and interactive teaching cases that provided in the moment audit and feedback on how to manage ASB. Implementation outcomes included minutes spent in intervention delivery, number of healthcare professionals reached, and number of sessions delivered. Clinical outcomes included days of antibiotic therapy (DOT), length of antibiotic therapy (LOT), and number of urine cultures ordered per 1000 bed days. Personnel reported weekly time logs.
Minutes spent in intervention delivery were inversely correlated with two clinical outcomes, DOT (R −0.3, P = .04) and LOT (R −0.3, P = .02). Number of healthcare professionals reached and number of sessions delivered were not correlated with clinical outcomes of DOT (R –0.003, P = .98, R = −0.059, P = .69) or LOT (R +0.073, P = .62, R −0.102, P = .49). Physician champions spent an average of 3.8% of effort on the intervention. The implementation cost was USD 22,299/year per site on average.
The amount of time local teams spent in delivery of an antibiotic stewardship intervention was correlated with the desired decrease in antibiotic use. Implementing this successful antibiotic stewardship intervention required minimal time.
Single-center and regional studies have reported outcomes after treatment with cefiderocol, a novel siderophore cephalosporin. We report on real-world use, clinical outcomes, and microbiological outcomes with cefiderocol therapy within the Veterans’ Health Administration (VHA).
Prospective, observational descriptive study.
Veterans’ Health Administration, 132 sites across the United States, during 2019–2022.
This study included patients admitted to any VHA medical center who received cefiderocol for ≥2 days.
Data were obtained from the VHA Corporate Data Warehouse and through manual chart review. We extracted clinical and microbiologic characteristics and outcomes.
In total, 8,763,652 patients received 1,142,940,842 prescriptions during the study period. Of these, 48 unique individuals received cefiderocol. The median age of this cohort was 70.5 years (IQR, 60.5–74), and the median Charlson comorbidity score was 6 (IQR, 3–9). The most common infectious syndromes were lower respiratory tract infection in 23 patients (47.9%) and urinary tract infection in 14 patients (29.2%). The most common pathogen cultured was P. aeruginosa in 30 patients (62.5%). The clinical failure rate was 35.4% (17 of 48), and 15 (88.2%) of these 17 patients died within 3 days of clinical failure. The 30-day and 90-day all-cause mortality rates were 27.1% (13 of 48) and 45.8% (22 of 48), respectively. The 30-day and 90-day microbiologic failure rates were 29.2% (14 of 48) and 41.7% (20 of 48), respectively.
In this nationwide VHA cohort clinical and microbiologic failure occurred in >30% of patients treated with cefiderocol, and >40% of these died within 90 days. Cefiderocol is not widely used, and many of the patients who received it had substantial comorbidities.
The evidence base for refraining from screening for or treating asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) in older adults is strong, but both practices remain prevalent. Clinical confusion over how to respond to a change from baseline, when to order a urinalysis and urine culture, and what to do with a positive urine culture fuels unnecessary antibiotic use for ASB. If the provider can take a mindful pause to apply evidenced-based assessment tools, the resulting increased clarity in how to manage the situation can reduce overtreatment of ASB.
We characterized antibiotic prescribing patterns and management practices among recurrent urinary tract infection (rUTI) patients, and we identified factors associated with lack of guideline adherence to antibiotic choice, duration of treatment, and urine cultures obtained. We hypothesized that prior resistance to nitrofurantoin or trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX), shorter intervals between rUTIs, and more frequent rUTIs would be associated with fluoroquinolone or β-lactam prescribing, or longer duration of therapy.
This study was a retrospective database study of adult women with International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) cystitis codes meeting American Urological Association rUTI criteria at outpatient clinics within our academic medical center between 2016 and 2018. We excluded patients with ICD-10 codes indicative of complicated UTI or pyelonephritis. Generalized estimating equations were used for risk-factor analysis.
Among 214 patients with 566 visits, 61.5% of prescriptions comprised first-line agents of nitrofurantoin (39.7%) and TMP-SMX (21.5%), followed by second-line choices of fluoroquinolones (27.2%) and β-lactams (11%). Most fluoroquinolone prescriptions (86.7%), TMP-SMX prescriptions (72.2%), and nitrofurantoin prescriptions (60.2%) exceeded the guideline-recommended duration. Approximately half of visits lacked a urine culture. Receiving care through urology via telephone was associated with receiving a β-lactam (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 6.34; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.58–15.56) or fluoroquinolone (OR, 2.28; 95% CI, 1.07–4.86). Having >2 rUTIs during the study period and seeking care from a urology practice (RR, 1.28, 95% CI, 1.15–1.44) were associated with longer antibiotic duration.
We found low guideline concordance for antibiotic choice, duration of therapy and cultures obtained among rUTI patients. These factors represent new targets for outpatient antibiotic stewardship interventions.
In the absence of pyuria, positive urine cultures are unlikely to represent infection. Conditional urine reflex culture policies have the potential to limit unnecessary urine culturing. We evaluated the impact of this diagnostic stewardship intervention.
We conducted a retrospective, quasi-experimental (nonrandomized) study, with interrupted time series, from August 2013 to January 2018 to examine rates of urine cultures before versus after the policy intervention. We compared 3 intervention sites to 3 control sites in an aggregated series using segmented negative binomial regression.
The study included 6 acute-care hospitals within the Veterans’ Health Administration across the United States.
Adult patients with at least 1 urinalysis ordered during acute-care admission, excluding pregnant patients or those undergoing urological procedures, were included.
At the intervention sites, urine cultures were performed if a preceding urinalysis met prespecified criteria. No such restrictions occurred at the control sites. The primary outcome was the rate of urine cultures performed per 1,000 patient days. The safety outcome was the rate of gram-negative bloodstream infection per 1,000 patient days.
The study included 224,573 urine cultures from 50,901 admissions in 24,759 unique patients. Among the intervention sites, the overall average number of urine cultures performed did not significantly decrease relative to the preintervention period (5.9% decrease; P = 0.8) but did decrease by 21% relative to control sites (P < .01). We detected no significant difference in the rates of gram-negative bloodstream infection among intervention or control sites (P = .49).
Conditional urine reflex culture policies were associated with a decrease in urine culturing without a change in the incidence of gram-negative bloodstream infection.
We conducted a prospective observational study of indications for use and patient experiences with midline catheters (n = 50) compared to peripherally inserted central catheters (n = 63). The primary indication for patients with midline catheters was difficult venous access. Patients with midline catheters reported fewer complications than patients with peripherally inserted central catheters.
In preparation for a multisite antibiotic stewardship intervention, we assessed knowledge and attitudes toward management of asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) plus teamwork and safety climate among providers, nurses, and clinical nurse assistants (CNAs).
Prospective surveys during January–June 2018.
All acute and long-term care units of 4 Veterans’ Affairs facilities.
The survey instrument included 2 previously tested subcomponents: the Kicking CAUTI survey (ASB knowledge and attitudes) and the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ).
A total of 534 surveys were completed, with an overall response rate of 65%. Cognitive biases impacting management of ASB were identified. For example, providers presented with a case scenario of an asymptomatic patient with a positive urine culture were more likely to give antibiotics if the organism was resistant to antibiotics. Additionally, more than 80% of both nurses and CNAs indicated that foul smell is an appropriate indication for a urine culture. We found significant interprofessional differences in teamwork and safety climate (defined as attitudes about issues relevant to patient safety), with CNAs having highest scores and resident physicians having the lowest scores on self-reported perceptions of teamwork and safety climates (P < .001). Among providers, higher safety-climate scores were significantly associated with appropriate risk perceptions related to ASB, whereas social norms concerning ASB management were correlated with higher teamwork climate ratings.
Our survey revealed substantial misunderstanding regarding management of ASB among providers, nurses, and CNAs. Educating and empowering these professionals to discourage unnecessary urine culturing and inappropriate antibiotic use will be key components of antibiotic stewardship efforts.
Collaborative programs have helped reduce catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) rates in community-based nursing homes. We assessed whether collaborative participation produced similar benefits among Veterans Health Administration (VHA) nursing homes, which are part of an integrated system.
This study included 63 VHA nursing homes enrolled in the “AHRQ Safety Program for Long-Term Care,” which focused on practices to reduce CAUTI.
Changes in CAUTI rates, catheter utilization, and urine culture orders were assessed from June 2015 through May 2016. Multilevel mixed-effects negative binomial regression was used to derive incidence rate ratios (IRRs) representing changes over the 12-month program period.
There was no significant change in CAUTI among VHA sites, with a CAUTI rate of 2.26 per 1,000 catheter days at month 1 and a rate of 3.19 at month 12 (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.99; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.67–1.44). Results were similar for catheter utilization rates, which were 11.02% at month 1 and 11.30% at month 12 (IRR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.95–1.09). The numbers of urine cultures per 1,000 residents were 5.27 in month 1 and 5.31 in month 12 (IRR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.82–1.05).
No changes in CAUTI rates, catheter use, or urine culture orders were found during the program period. One potential reason was the relatively low baseline CAUTI rate, as compared with a cohort of community-based nursing homes. This low baseline rate is likely related to the VHA’s prior CAUTI prevention efforts. While broad-scale collaborative approaches may be effective in some settings, targeting higher-prevalence safety issues may be warranted at sites already engaged in extensive infection prevention efforts.
To examine the impact of urine culture testing on day 1 of admission on inpatient antibiotic use and hospital length of stay (LOS).
We performed a retrospective cohort study using a national dataset from 2009 to 2014.
The study used data from 230 hospitals in the United States.
Admissions for adults 18 years and older were included in this study. Hospitalizations were matched with coarsened exact matching by facility, patient age, gender, Medicare severity-diagnosis related group (MS-DRG), and 3 measures of disease severity.
A multilevel Poisson model and a multilevel linear regression model were used to determine the impact of an admission urine culture on inpatient antibiotic use and LOS.
Matching produced a cohort of 88,481 patients (n=41,070 with a culture on day 1, n=47,411 without a culture). A urine culture on admission led to an increase in days of inpatient antibiotic use (incidence rate ratio, 1.26; P<.001) and resulted in an additional 36,607 days of inpatient antibiotic treatment. Urine culture on admission resulted in a 2.1% increase in LOS (P=.004). The predicted difference in bed days of care between admissions with and without a urine culture resulted in 6,071 additional bed days of care. The impact of urine culture testing varied by admitting diagnosis.
Patients with a urine culture sent on day 1 of hospital admission receive more days of antibiotics and have a longer hospital stay than patients who do not have a urine culture. Targeted interventions may reduce the potential harms associated with low-yield urine cultures on day 1.
The impact of healthcare system integration on infection prevention programs is unknown. Using catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) prevention as an example, we hypothesize that US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) nursing homes have a more robust infection prevention infrastructure due to integration and centralization compared with non–VA nursing homes.
VA and non-VA nursing homes participating in the AHRQ Safety Program for Long-Term Care collaborative.
Nursing homes provided baseline information about their infection prevention programs to assess strengths and gaps related to CAUTI prevention via a needs assessment questionnaire.
A total of 353 of 494 nursing homes from 41 states (71%; 47 VA and 306 non-VA facilities) responded. VA nursing homes reported more hours per week devoted to infection prevention-related activities (31 vs 12 hours; P<.001) and were more likely to have committees that reviewed healthcare-associated infections. Compared with non-VA facilities, a higher percentage of VA nursing homes reported tracking CAUTI rates (94% vs 66%; P<.001), sharing CAUTI data with leadership (94% vs 70%; P=.014) and with nursing personnel (85% vs 56%, P=.003). However, fewer VA nursing homes reported having policies for appropriate catheter use (64% vs 81%; P=.004) and catheter insertion (83% vs 94%; P=.004).
Among nursing homes participating in an AHRQ-funded collaborative, VA and non-VA nursing homes differed in their approach to CAUTI prevention. Best practices from both settings should be applied universally to create an optimal infection prevention program within emerging integrated healthcare systems.
To assess knowledge about infection prevention among nursing home personnel and identify gaps potentially addressable through a quality improvement collaborative.
Baseline knowledge assessment of catheter-associated urinary tract infection, asymptomatic bacteriuria, antimicrobial stewardship, and general infection prevention practices for healthcare-associated infections.
Nursing homes across 14 states participating in the national “Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Safety Program for Long-Term Care: Healthcare-Associated Infections/Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection.”
Each facility aimed to obtain responses from at least 10 employees (5 licensed and 5 unlicensed). We assessed the percentage of correct responses.
A total of 184 (78%) of 236 participating facilities provided 1 response or more. Of the 1,626 respondents, 822 (50.6%) were licensed; 117 facilities (63.6%) were for-profit. While 99.1% of licensed personnel recognized the definition of asymptomatic bacteriuria, only 36.1% knew that pyuria could not distinguish a urinary tract infection from asymptomatic bacteriuria. Among unlicensed personnel, 99.6% knew to notify a nurse if a resident developed fever or confusion, but only 27.7% knew that cloudy, smelly urine should not routinely be cultured. Although 100% of respondents reported receiving training in hand hygiene, less than 30% knew how long to rub hands (28.5% licensed, 25.2% unlicensed) or the most effective agent to use (11.7% licensed, 10.6% unlicensed).
This national assessment demonstrates an important need to enhance infection prevention knowledge among healthcare personnel working in nursing homes to improve resident safety and quality of care.
Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) is considered a reasonably preventable event in the hospital setting, and it has been included in the US Department of Health and Human Services National Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections. While multiple definitions for measuring CAUTI exist, each has important limitations, and understanding these limitations is important to both clinical practice and policy decisions. The National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) surveillance definition, the most frequently used outcome measure for CAUTI prevention efforts, has limited clinical correlation and does not necessarily reflect noninfectious harms related to the catheter. We advocate use of the device utilization ratio (DUR) as an additional performance measure for potential urinary catheter harm. The DUR is patient-centered and objective and is currently captured as part of NHSN reporting. Furthermore, these data are readily obtainable from electronic medical records. The DUR also provides a more direct reflection of improvement efforts focused on reducing inappropriate urinary catheter use.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(3):327–333
To examine the impact on infection rates and hospital rank for catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI), central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI), and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) using device days and bed days as the denominator
Retrospective survey from October 2010 to July 2013
Veterans Health Administration medical centers providing acute medical and surgical care
Patients admitted to 120 Veterans Health Administration medical centers reporting healthcare-associated infections
We examined the importance of using device days and bed days as the denominator between infection rates and hospital rank for CAUTI, CLABSI, and VAP for each medical center. The relationship between device days and bed days as the denominator was assessed using a Pearson correlation, and changes in infection rates and device utilization were evaluated by an analysis of variance.
A total of 7.9 million bed days were included. From 2011 to 2013, CAUTI decreased whether measured by device days (2.32 to 1.64, P=.001) or bed days (4.21 to 3.02, P=.006). CLABSI decreased when measured by bed days (1.67 to 1.19, P=.04). VAP rates and device utilization ratios for CAUTI, CLABSI, and VAP were not statistically different across time. Infection rates calculated with device days were strongly correlated with infection rates calculated with bed days (r=0.79–0.94, P<.001). Hospital relative performance measured by ordered rank was also strongly correlated for both denominators (r=0.82–0.96, P<.001).
These findings suggest that device days and bed days are equally effective adjustment metrics for comparing healthcare-associated infection rates between hospitals in the setting of stable device utilization.
Although catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) and catheter-associated asymptomatic bacteriuria (CAABU) are clinically distinct conditions, most literature describing the risks of bacteriuria does not distinguish between them. We studied the relationship between catheter-associated bacteriuria and bacteremia from a urinary source in CAUTI relative to that in CAABU. Second, we investigated whether the presence or absence of urinary symptoms in catheterized patients with bacteriuria was associated with bacteremia from any source or mortality. Finally, we explored the effect of antimicrobial treatment of bacteriuria on subsequent bacteremia from any source and mortality.
We performed a retrospective cohort study with 30 days of follow-up after an initial positive urine culture. CAUTI and CAABU were defined by Infectious Diseases Society of America guidelines.
A large tertiary care facility.
All inpatients with a urinary catheter (external or indwelling) and a positive urine culture between October 2010 and June 2011.
We captured 444 episodes of catheter-associated bacteriuria in 308 patients; 128 (41.6%) patients had CAUTI, and 180 (58.4%) had CAABU. Three episodes of bacteriuria were followed by bacteremia from a urinary source (0.7%). CAUTI, rather than CAABU, was associated with bacteremia from any source, but neither CAUTI nor CAABU predicted subsequent mortality. Use of antimicrobial agents to treat bacteriuria was not associated with either bacteremia from any source or mortality.
Bacteremia from a urinary source was infrequent, and there was no evidence of an association of mortality with symptomatic versus asymptomatic bacteriuria in this population. Antibiotic treatment of bacteriuria did not affect outcomes.
To describe the frequency of use of all types of urinary catheters, including but not limited to indwelling catheters, as well as positive cultures associated with the various types. We also determined the accuracy of catheter-days reporting at our institution.
Prospective, observational trial based on patient-level review of the electronic medical record. Chart review was compared with standard methods of catheter surveillance and reporting by infection control personnel.
Ten internal medicine and 5 long-term care wards in 2 tertiary care Veterans Affairs hospitals in Texas from July 2010 through June 2011.
The study included 7,866 inpatients.
Measurements included patient bed-days; days of use of indwelling, external, suprapubic, and intermittent urinary catheters; number of urine cultures obtained and culture results; and infection control reports of indwelling catheter-days.
We observed 7,866 inpatients with 128,267 bed-days on acute medicine and extended care wards during the study. A urinary catheter was used on 36.9% of the total bed-days observed. Acute medicine wards collected more urine cultures per 1,000 bed-days than did the extended care wards (75.9 and 10.4 cultures per 1,000 bed-days, respectively; P < .0001 ). Catheter-days were divided among indwelling-catheter-days (47.8%), external-catheter-days (48.4%), and other (intermittent- and suprapubic-catheter-days, 3.8%). External catheters contributed to 376 (37.3%) of the 1,009 catheter-associated positive urine cultures. Urinary-catheter-days reported to the infection control department missed 20.1% of the actual days of indwelling catheter use, whereas 12.0% of their reported catheter-days were false.
Urinary catheter use was extremely common. External catheters accounted for a large portion of catheter-associated bacteriuria, and standard practices for tracking urinary-catheter-days were unreliable.
We evaluated a catheter-lock solution consisting of N-acetylcysteine, tigecycline, and heparin for catheter salvage in patients with hemodialysis catheter-associated bacteremia. Eighteen case patients received the catheter-lock solution for 14 days plus systemic antibiotic therapy. Treatment was successful for 15 (83%) of the 18 case patients within 90 days of follow-up, with a median catheter retention interval of 64.5 days.
We investigated whether insertion of urinary catheters that had been coated with Escherichia coli HU2117 could establish bladder colonization with this nonvirulent organism. Ten of 12 subjects were successfully colonized for 14 days or more. The rate of symptomatic UTI during colonization was 0.15 per 100 patient-days.
Skin preparation is an important factor in reducing the rate of blood culture contamination. We assessed blood culture contamination rates associated with the use of skin antisepsis kits containing either 2% alcoholic chlorhexidine gluconate or 2% alcoholic tincture of iodine.
Prospective, blinded clinical trial.
Tertiary-care teaching hospital.
Adult patients in medical wards, the medical intensive care unit, and the cardiac intensive care unit who needed paired, percutaneous blood cultures.
House officers, medical students, and healthcare technicians drew the blood for cultures. We prepared sacks containing all of the necessary supplies, including two different types of antiseptic kits. In each sack, one kit contained 2% chlorhexidine in 70% isopropyl alcohol and the other contained 2% tincture of iodine in ethyl alcohol and 70% isopropyl alcohol. Each patient received chlorhexidine at one site and tincture of iodine at the other.
Four (0.9%) of 430 blood culture sets from 215 patients were contaminated. The contamination rate when using alcohol and chlorhexidine (1 of 215, 0.5%) did not differ significantly from the contamination rate when using tincture of iodine (3 of 215,1.4%; P = .62, McNemar test). There was an 87% probability that the two interventions differed by less than 2% in their rate of contamination.
Both of these antiseptic kits were highly effective for skin preparation prior to drawing blood for cultures. The use of these kits may have contributed to the low contamination rate observed in this study.
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