Could education prevent the overuse of antibiotics for UTIs?

A study recently published in the Annals of Long-Term Care found that a checklist and certain other care and training interventions lowered the risk of UTIs and over-treatment of UTIs with antibiotics. Results of the study were presented at the American Geriatric Society 2018 Annual Scientific Meetings in Orlando, FL.

The study is part of a Geriatric Fellowship program at Florida Hospital. The study found that a urinalysis is often requested by family or the care team in long-term care. However, overuse of antibiotics has known risks, including the development of antibiotic-resistant infections within the facility that can prove dangerous to residents. By implementing a checklist and training to staff regarding when a urinalysis should be ordered led to a reduction in urinary tract infection rates from 13% to 6%. The checklist and training emphasized the need to observe and hydrate residents before ordering antibiotic treatment if nonspecific symptoms of a UTI were present.

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