AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine

View all recommendations from this society

Released September 4, 2013

Don’t obtain a urine culture unless there are clear signs and symptoms that localize to the urinary tract.

Chronic asymptomatic bacteriuria is frequent in the LTC setting, with prevalence as high as 50%. A positive urine culture in the absence of localized urinary tract infection (UTI) symptoms (i.e., dysuria, frequency, urgency) is of limited value in identifying whether a patient’s symptoms are caused by a UTI. Colonization (a positive bacterial culture without signs or symptoms of a localized UTI) is a common problem in LTC facilities that contributes to the over-use of antibiotic therapy in this setting, leading to an increased risk of diarrhea, resistant organisms and infection due toClostridium difficile. An additional concern is that the finding of asymptomatic bacteriuria may lead to an erroneous assumption that a UTI is the cause of an acute change of status, hence failing to detect or delaying the more timely detection of the patient’s more serious underlying problem. A patient with advanced dementia may be unable to report urinary symptoms. In this situation, it is reasonable to obtain a urine culture if there are signs of systemic infection such as fever (increase in temperature of equal to or greater than 2°F [1.1°C] from baseline) leukocytosis, or a left shift or chills in the absence of additional symptoms (e.g., new cough) to suggest an alternative source of infection.


These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

1–5: AMDA – The Society for Post -Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine convened a work group made up of members from the Clinical Practice Committee (CPC). Members of the CPC include board certified geriatricians, certified medical directors, multi-facility medical directors, attending practitioners, physicians practicing in both office-based and nursing facility practice, physicians in rural, suburban and academic settings, those with university appointments, and more. It was important to AMDA that the workgroup chosen represent the core base of the AMDA membership. Ideas for the “five things” were solicited from the workgroup. Suggested elements were considered for appropriateness, relevance to the core of the specialty and opportunities to improve patient care. They were further refined to maximize impact and eliminate overlap, and then ranked in order of potential importance both for the specialty and for the public. A literature search was conducted to provide supporting evidence or refute the activities. The list was modified and a second round of selection of the refined list was sent to the workgroup for paring down to the final “top five” list. Finally, the work group chose its top five recommendations before submitting a final draft to the AMDA Executive Committee, which were then approved.

6–10: The AMDA Choosing Wisely® endeavor utilized a similar procedure as published in JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174 (40:509-515 – A Top 5 List for Emergency Medicine for our five items.

The AMDA Clinical Practice Committee acted as the Technical Expert Panel (TEP).

Phase 1 – The Clinical Practice Committee (CPC) along with the Infection Advisory Committee clinicians brainstormed an initial list of low-value clinical decisions that are under control of PA/LTC physicians that were thought to have a potential for cost savings.

Phase 2 – Each member of the CPC selected five low-value tests considering the perceived contribution to cost (how commonly the item is ordered and the individual expense of the test/treatment/action), benefit of the item (scientific evidence to support use of the item in the literature or in guidelines); and highly actionable (use decided by PA/LTC clinicians only).

Phase 3 – A survey was sent to all AMDA members. Statements were phrased as specific overuse statements by using the word “don’t,” thereby reflecting the action necessary to improve the value of care.

Phase 4 – CPC members reviewed survey results and chose the five items.

AMDA’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at www.amda.com.

Sources

Stone ND, Ashraf MS, Calder J, Crnich CJ, Crossley K, Drinka PJ, Gould CV, Juthani-Mehta M, Lautenbach E, Loeb M, MacCannell T, Malani TN, Mody L, Mylotte JM, Nicolle LE, Roghmann MC, Schweon SJ, Simor AE, Smith PW, Stevenson KB, Bradley SF. Surveillance definitions of infections in long-term care facilities: revisiting the McGeer Criteria. Infec Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2012;33(10):965-77.

Drinka P. Treatment of bacteriuria without urinary signs, symptoms, or systemic infectious illness (S/S/S). J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2009 Oct;10(8):516-9.

Arinzon Z, Peisakh A, Shuval I, Shabat S, Berner YN. Detection of urinary tract infection (UTI) in long-term care setting: is the multireagent strip an adequate diagnostic tool? Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2009 Mar-Apr;48(2):227-31.

High KP, Bradley SF, Gravenstein S, Mehr DR, Quagliarello VJ Richards C, Yoshikawa TT. Clinical practice guideline for the evaluation of fever and infection in older adult residents of long-term care facilities: 2008 update by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2009 Mar;57(3):375-94.

Zabarsky TF, Sethi AK, Donskey CJ. Sustained reduction in inappropriate treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria in a long-term care facility through an educational intervention. Am J Infect Control. 2008 Sep;36(7):476-80.

Richards CL Jr. Infection control in long-term care facilities. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2007 Mar;8(3 Suppl):S18-25.

Ducharme J, Neilson S, Ginn JL. Can urine cultures and reagent test strips be used to diagnose urinary tract infection in elderly emergency department patients without focal urinary symptoms? CJEM. 2007 Mar;9(2):87-92.

Loeb M, Brazil K, Lohfeld L, McGeer A, Simor A, Stevenson K, Zoutman D, Smith S, Liu X, Walter SD. Effect of a multifaceted intervention on number of antimicrobial prescriptions for suspected urinary tract infections in residents of nursing homes: cluster randomized controlled trial. BMJ. 2005 Sep 24;331(7518):669.

Loeb M, Brazil K, Lohfeld L, McGeer A, Simor A, Stevenson K, Walter S, Zoutman D. Optimizing antibiotics in residents of nursing homes: protocol of a randomized trial. BMC Health Serv Res. 2002 Sep 3;2(1):17.

Nicolle LE. Urinary tract infection in geriatric and institutionalized patients. Curr Opin Urol. 2002 Jan;12(1):51-5.

Boscia JA, Kobasa WD, Abrutyn E, Levison ME, Kaplan AM, Kaye D. Lack of association between bacteriuria and symptoms in the elderly. Am J Med. 1986 Dec;81(6):979-82.

Nicolle LE, Bentley D, Garibaldi R, Neuhaus E, Smith P. SHEA Long-Term Care Committee. Antimicrobial use in long-term-care facilities. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 1996;17:119-28.

High KP, Bradley SF, Gravenstein S, Mehr DR, Quagliarello VJ, Richards C, Yoshikawa TT. Clinical practice guideline for the evaluation of fever and infection in older adult residents of long-term care facilities: 2008 update by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Clin Infect Dis 2009;48: 149-71.