Original Articles

Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 376-383

Antibiotic use in ontario facilities that provide chronic care

  • Mark LoebAffiliated withReceived from the Division of Microbiology, Departments of Pathology, McMaster UniversityClinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University Email author 
  • , Andrew E. SimorAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology, Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto
  • , Lisa LandryAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology and Infection Control, Mount Sinai and Princess Margaret HospitalsDepartment of Microbiology, Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto
  • , Stephen WalterAffiliated withClinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University
  • , Margaret McArthurAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology and Infection Control, Mount Sinai and Princess Margaret HospitalsDepartment of Microbiology, Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto
  • , JoAnn DuffyAffiliated withDepartments of Infection Control and Pharmacy, Queen Elizabeth Hospital
  • , Debora KwanAffiliated withDepartments of Infection Control and Pharmacy, Queen Elizabeth Hospital
  • , Allison McGeerAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology and Infection Control, Mount Sinai and Princess Margaret HospitalsDepartment of Microbiology, Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To determine the incidence and variability of antibiotic use in facilities which provide chronic care and to determine how often clinical criteria for infection are met when antibiotics are prescribed in these facilities.

DESIGN: A prospective, 12-month, observational cohort study.

SETTING: Twenty-two facilities which provide chronic care in southwestern Ontario.

PARTICIPANTS: Patients who were treated with systemic antibiotics over the study period.

MEASUREMENTS: Characteristics of antibiotic prescriptions (name, dose, duration, and indication) and clinical features of randomly selected patients who were treated with antibiotics.

RESULTS: A total of 9,373 courses of antibiotics were prescribed for 2,408 patients (66% of the patients in study facilities). The incidence of antibiotic prescriptions in the facilities ranged from 2.9 to 13.9 antibiotic courses per 1,000 patient-days. Thirty-six percent of antibiotics were prescribed for respiratory tract infections, 33% for urinary infections, and 13% for skin and soft tissue infections. Standardized surveillance definitions of infection were met in 49% of the 1,602 randomly selected patients who were prescribed antibiotics. Diagnostic criteria for respiratory, urinary, and skin infection were met in 58%, 28%, and 65% of prescriptions, respectively. One third of antibiotic prescriptions for a urinary indication were for asymptomatic bacteriuria. Adverse reactions were noted in 6% of prescriptions for respiratory and urinary infections and 4% of prescriptions for skin infection.

CONCLUSIONS: Antibiotic use is frequent and highly variable amongst patients who receive chronic care. Reducing antibiotic prescriptions for asymptomatic bacteriuria represents an important way to optimize antibiotic use in this population.

Key words

antibiotic use chronic care facilities infection