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Antimicrobial use in post-acute care: a retrospective descriptive analysis in seven long-term care facilities in Georgia.

Richards CL, Darradji M, Weinberg A, Ouslander JG. Antimicrobial use in post-acute care: a retrospective descriptive analysis in seven long-term care facilities in Georgia. Journal of The American Medical Directors Association. 2005 Mar 1; 6(2):109-12.

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BACKGROUND: Antimicrobial use in long-term care facilities (LTCF) is an important public health issue, especially regarding its potential role in antimicrobial resistance. Up to two thirds of long-stay LTCF residents receive antimicrobial therapy each year. However, little is known specifically about antimicrobial use in short-stay LTCF residents receiving post-acute care. METHODS: The authors conducted a retrospective chart review of a random sample of residents admitted for post-acute care in seven LTCFs in Georgia from September 1, 1999 to August 31, 2000 to determine the rates and characteristics of antimicrobial prescribing in this population. RESULTS: Of 221 post-acute care residents, 105 (48%) received 152 courses of antimicrobial therapy during their post-acute stay. At least one antimicrobial was prescribed on 796 of 5220 resident-days (15%). Antimicrobial therapy was split evenly between hospital-initiated antimicrobial therapy (n = 53, 50%) and antimicrobial therapy initiated in the LTCF during post-acute care (n = 52, 50%). Levofloxacin was the most commonly prescribed antimicrobial. Where documentation on the suspected infection was present, the most common infections were urinary tract infections (UTIs) and pneumonias. For residents with post-acute care-initiated therapy, documentation regarding the presumed source of infection was absent for 44% of antimicrobial prescriptions. Most antimicrobial courses initiated for presumed infections in post-acute care were by telephone orders (66%). CONCLUSIONS: Utilization of antimicrobial therapy in LTCF residents in post-acute care is relatively high and may be greater than for long-stay LTCF residents. For hospital-initiated therapy, improved communication between hospital and LTCF staff may improve documentation and antimicrobial therapy in LTC. For antimicrobial therapy initiated by telephone orders in post-acute care, improving documentation of suspected source of infection is needed.

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