Simple lab-based change may help reduce unnecessary antibiotic therapy, improve care
Modifying how urine culture results are reported to clinicians can improve prescribing practices, pilot study suggests
A simple change in how the hospital laboratory reports test results may help improve antibiotic prescribing practices and patient safety, according to a pilot, proof-of-concept study. No longer routinely reporting positive urine culture results for inpatients at low risk for urinary tract infections (UTIs) greatly reduced unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions and did not affect the treatment of patients who did need antibiotics, the study authors found.
Urine cultures for hospitalised patients are often ordered unnecessarily. Positive culture results from patients without any UTI symptoms can lead to antibiotic prescriptions that are of no benefit and may cause harm to patients, including C. difficile infection and subsequent infection with more antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
In the study, conducted in 2013 at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, urine culture results from non-catheterised inpatients