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To conduct a contemporary detailed assessment of outpatient antibiotic prescribing and outcomes for positive urine cultures in a mixed-sex cohort.
Multicenter retrospective cohort review.
The study was conducted using data from 31 Veterans’ Affairs medical centers.
Outpatient adults with positive urine cultures.
From 2016 to 2019, data were extracted through a nationwide database and manual chart review. Positive urine cultures were reviewed at the chart, clinician, and aggregate levels. Cases were classified as cystitis, pyelonephritis, or asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) based upon documented signs and symptoms. Preferred therapy definitions were applied for subdiagnoses: ASB (no antibiotics), cystitis (trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, nitrofurantoin, β-lactams), and pyelonephritis (trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, fluoroquinolone). Outcomes included 30-day clinical failure or hospitalization. Odds ratios for outcomes between treatments were estimated using logistic regression.
Of 3,255 cases reviewed, ASB was identified in 1,628 cases (50%), cystitis was identified in 1,156 cases (36%), and pyelonephritis was identified in 471 cases (15%). Of all 2,831 cases, 1,298 (46%) received preferred therapy selection and duration for cases where it could be defined. The most common antibiotic class prescribed was a fluoroquinolone (34%). Patients prescribed preferred therapy had lower odds of clinical failure: preferred (8%) versus nonpreferred (10%) (unadjusted OR, 0.74; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.58–0.95; P = .018). They also had lower odds of 30-day hospitalization: preferred therapy (3%) versus nonpreferred therapy (5%) (unadjusted OR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.37–0.81; P = .002). Odds of clinical treatment failure or hospitalization was higher for β-lactams relative to ciprofloxacin (unadjusted OR, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.23–2.90; P = .002).
Clinicians prescribed preferred therapy 46% of the time. Those prescribed preferred therapy had lower odds of clinical failure and of being hospitalized.
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