Virtual learning collaboratives to improve urine culturing and antibiotic prescribing in long-term care: controlled before-and-after study
BACKGROUND: Urine culturing practices are highly variable in long-term care and contribute to overprescribing of antibiotics for presumed urinary tract infections. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of virtual learning collaboratives to support long-term care homes in implementing a quality improvement programme focused on reducing unnecessary urine culturing and antibiotic overprescribing.
METHODS: Over a 4-month period (May 2018-August 2018), 45 long-term care homes were self-selected from five regions to participate in virtual learning collaborative sessions, which provided an orientation to a quality improvement programme and guidance for implementation. A process evaluation complemented the use of a controlled before-and-after study with a propensity score matched control group (n=127) and a difference-in-difference analysis. Primary outcomes included rates of urine cultures performed and urinary antibiotic prescriptions. Secondary outcomes included rates of emergency department visits, hospital admission and mortality. An 18-month baseline period was compared with a 16-month postimplementation period with the use of administrative data sources.
RESULTS: Rates of urine culturing and urinary antibiotic prescriptions per 1000 resident days decreased significantly more among long-term care homes that participated in learning collaboratives compared with matched controls (differential reductions of 19% and 13%, respectively, p<0.0001). There was no statistically significant changes to rates of emergency department visits, hospital admissions or mortality. These outcomes were observed with moderate adherence to the programme model.
CONCLUSIONS: Rates of urine culturing and urinary antibiotic prescriptions declined among long-term care homes that participated in a virtual learning collaborative to support implementation of a quality improvement programme. The results of this study have refined a model to scale this programme in long-term care.
Chambers, A., Chen, C., Brown, K. A., Daneman, N., Langford, B., Leung, V., . . . Garber, G. E. (2021). Virtual learning collaboratives to improve urine culturing and antibiotic prescribing in long-term care: controlled before-and-after study. BMJ Qual Saf. doi:10.1136/bmjqs-2020-012226