Journal Article

Reducing Antibiotic Overuse: A Call for a National Performance Measure for Not Treating Asymptomatic Bacteriuria

Peter A. Gross and Brijesh Patel

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 45, issue 10, pages 1335-1337
Published in print November 2007 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online November 2007 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/522183
Reducing Antibiotic Overuse: A Call for a National Performance Measure for Not Treating Asymptomatic Bacteriuria

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Positive urinary tract culture results often represent asymptomatic bacteriuria, which does not need to be treated with antimicrobial agents. Avoiding treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria in adults should reduce the risk of development of antibiotic resistance and is consistent with the Infectious Diseases Society of America and US Preventive Services Task Force guidelines on bacteriuria. A similar approach for not treating upper respiratory illnesses with antibiotics was initiated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We propose that a hospital and ambulatory performance measure should be developed for not treating asymptomatic bacteriuria in adults. In addition, such an effort would aid hospitals in confronting the proposal of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (to be implemented in 2009) to not pay the expenses associated with catheter-associated urinary tract infection.

Journal Article.  2431 words. 

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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