Project Background/Rationale: Antimicrobial stewardship as a means to combat the spread of antibiotic- resistant bacteria has become a national priority, both within and outside the VHA. This IIR project focuses on improving Veteran safety by reducing inappropriate use of antimicrobials for asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB), a very common condition that leads to antimicrobial overuse in acute and long-term care. We conducted a successful intervention to decrease guideline-discordant ordering of urine cultures and antibiotics for ASB. This single site intervention, entitled ?Kicking Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI): the No Knee- Jerk Antibiotics Campaign,? reduced unnecessary screening for ASB by 71% and unnecessary treatment of ASB by 75% in a large and complex VA medical center. The UTI medication use evaluation recently conducted by the VA Antimicrobial Stewardship Task Force (ASTF) shows an acute need for our intervention, as 57% of 1,219 urine cultures treated as UTI (with antibiotics) were actually ASB. Our work is innovative in that we address the cognitive biases that drive overuse of antibiotics and encourage more deliberate choice. Project Objectives: The objective of this project is to facilitate implementation of a scalable version of the Kicking CAUTI campaign across four geographically diverse VA facilities while assessing what aspects of an antimicrobial stewardship intervention are essential to success and sustainability. Our project team and our operational partners will provide expertise and external facilitation, while intervention implementation at the facility level will be performed by the local personnel tasked with antimicrobial stewardship. The two main intervention tools are (1) an evidence-based algorithm that distills the guidelines into a streamlined clinical pathway, and (2) case-based audit and feedback to train clinicians to use the algorithm. The intervention is directed at providers in acute and long-term care, and the goal is to reduce inappropriate screening for and treatment of ASB in all patients and residents, not just those with urinary catheters.
Aim 1 is to determine barriers to guideline-recommended practices for management of catheter-associated bacteriuria at intervention sites and assemble the local implementation teams.
Aim 2 is to implement and evaluate a scalable version of the Kicking CAUTI intervention in four VA facilities, using four additional sites as contemporaneous controls. 2a: We will measure the clinical outcomes of urine cultures ordered, antibiotic use, and episodes of Clostridium difficile infection using Corporate Data Warehouse and review of selected charts at each site. 2b: We will study the relationship between the dose of the intervention delivered and clinical outcomes.
Aim 3 : Assess the economic implications of the intervention through a budget impact analysis. Methods: Our intervention will include an on-ramp period for each facility consisting of centrally-led phone calls with local site champions and baseline surveys. Case-based audit and feedback will begin at a given site after the on-ramp period and continue for twelve months. We will stagger intervention roll-out by quarter for each of the four intervention sites. The three-year project timeframe allows 3 months for project start-up, 3 months on-ramp at each site, 12 months for the active intervention implementation, and a sustainability phase at each site. Our analysis for Aim 2A will use clinical outcome data from Corporate Data Warehouse to conduct interrupted time series with segmented regression analysis. The analysis for Aim 2B will use regression models to assess whether more complete implementation is associated with better clinical outcomes, using process measures of key implementation components. The budget impact analysis will assess savings and costs of the intervention from the VHA perspective. Throughout the project we will have two calls each year with our operational partners. These partners, the National Center for Patient Safety, the National Infectious Diseases Service, the ASTF, and Pharmacy Benefits Management, have advised and directed the design of this proposal over the past year and will continue their involvement from the time of project launch to help plan for national dissemination.

Public Health Relevance

to Veterans' Healthcare: Combatting antibiotic-resistant bacteria has become a national priority. One approach to preventing the spread of resistant bacteria is antimicrobial stewardship, or following best practices about when to use antibiotics. One of the most common reasons for antibiotic overuse in VHA hospitals and nursing homes is to treat asymptomatic bacteriuria. Asymptomatic bacteriuria occurs when bacteria colonize the urinary tract without causing related symptoms, and this is a very common condition in older Veterans in both hospitals and nursing homes. Unnecessary screening for and treatment of ASB undermines Veteran safety by increasing the risk of adverse drug events, resistant organisms, and Clostridium difficile infection. Our proposal to bring clinical practice in line with published guidelines has significant potential to decrease inappropriate antibiotic use in VA facilities.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Veterans Affairs (VA)
Non-HHS Research Projects (I01)
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HSR-1 Medical Care and Clinical Management (HSR1)
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Michael E Debakey VA Medical Center
United States
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