Burning for Treatment: Impact of Staff Education on Asymptomatic Bacteriuria Management in the Elderly
Studies indicate that elderly patients are often inappropriately treated with antimicrobials for asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB). Interprofessional education may help improve the assessment and management of ASB.
Retrospective chart audits were conducted on two cohorts of positive urine cultures (n = 201) obtained from a geriatric acute care unit to determine the incidence of treated ASB. The first cohort (n = 101) was analyzed from January to July 2017. Education was provided to unit staff (e.g., nurses, physicians, pharmacists) in Fall 2017. The second cohort (n = 100) was analyzed from January to July 2018. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize and compare the results from the cohorts.
152 patients (n = 201 positive urine cultures) were reviewed: 74% (159) of positive urine cultures were ASB and 21% (42) were urinary tract infections. The incidence of treated ASB was 15% (30) and untreated ASB was 65% (129). The incidence of UTI, treated ASB, and untreated ASB were not significantly different between the two cohorts examined.
The implementation of education did not result in lasting changes in ASB management. Our study suggests that future systemic solutions are necessary to reduce the incidence of treated ASB in the geriatric population.