02 juin 2022

New study shows reduced antibiotic use at long-term care facilities participating in HHS-funded program

A new study published today in JAMA Network Open shows that long-term care facilities that participated in a safety program funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) saw a significant decrease in antibiotic use, thereby reducing unnecessary and potentially unsafe use of medications.

The study evaluated the implementation of the AHRQ Safety program for improving antibiotic use in 439 long-term care facilities across the United States, and found that participating facilities reduced their antibiotic starts—that is, the number of new courses of antibiotic treatments—and reduced the number of days residents were on antibiotics. Participating facilities also significantly reduced use of fluoroquinolones, a class of antibiotics known to cause adverse effects in older adults. Facilities that were highly engaged in the AHRQ program saw greater reductions in antibiotic use than facilities with low engagement.

[…] “These results suggest that long-term care facilities can successfully reduce inappropriate antibiotic use. And there are free tools and resources developed as part of this program that can help facilities achieve these goals,” said Melissa A. Miller, M.D., M.S., who is a co-author of the study and a medical officer in AHRQ’s Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) division.

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