A multifaceted intervention significantly changed clinicians’ use of antibiotics to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs) in children, according to data from more than 2,000 cases observed between January 2014 and September 2018.
“Changing clinicians’ antibiotic prescribing practices can be challenging; barriers to change include lack of awareness of new evidence, competing clinical demands, and concern about treatment failure,” wrote, of Kaiser Permanente Colorado, Aurora, and colleagues in .
To promote judicious antibiotic use, the researchers designed an intervention including the development of new local UTI guidelines; a live, case-based educational session; emailed knowledge assessments before and after the session; and a specific UTI order set in the EHR.
The researchers divided the study period into a preintervention period (January 1, 2014, to April 25, 2017) and a postintervention period (April 26, 2017, to September 30, 2018). They collected data on 2,142 incident outpatient UTIs; 1,636 from the preintervention period and 506 from the postintervention period. The patients were younger than 18 years and older than 60 days, and children with complicated urologic or neurologic conditions were excluded.
(P less than .0001). In particular, the use of first-line, narrow spectrum cephalexin increased significantly from 29% during the preintervention period to 53% during the postintervention period (P less than .0001). In addition, use of broad spectrum cefixime decreased from 17% during the preintervention period to 3% during the postintervention period (P less than .0001). These changes in prescribing patterns continued through the end of the study period, the researchers said.
The study was limited by several factors, notably that “the interrupted time-series design prevents us from inferring that the intervention caused the observed change in practice,” the researchers wrote. However, other factors including the immediate change in prescribing patterns after the intervention, multiple time points, large sample size, and consistent UTI case mix support the impact of the intervention, they suggested. Although the results might not translate completely to other settings, “developing a UTI-specific EHR order set is relatively straightforward” and might be applied elsewhere, they noted.
“Despite the limitations inherent in a nonexperimental study design, the methods and interventions developed in the current study may be informative to other learning health systems and other content areas when conducting organization-wide quality improvement initiatives,” they concluded.
The study was supported by unrestricted internal resources from the Colorado Permanente Medical Group. The researchers had no financial conflicts to disclose.
SOURCE: Daley MF et al. Pediatrics. 2020 Mar 3. .