Document Type


Date of Original Version



Pharmacy Practice


Objective: To describe urinary tract infection (UTI) treatment among Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Community Living Centers (CLCs) nationally and to assess related trends in antibiotic use.

Design: Descriptive study.

Setting and participants: All UTI episodes treated from 2013 through 2017 among residents in 110 VA CLCs. UTI episodes required collection of a urine culture, antibiotic treatment, and a UTI diagnosis code. UTI episodes were stratified into culture-positive and culture-negative episodes.

Methods: Frequency and rate of antibiotic use were assessed for all UTI episodes overall and were stratified by culture-positive and culture-negative episodes. Joinpoint software was used for regression analyses of trends over time.

Results: We identified 28,247 UTI episodes in 14,983 Veterans. The average age of Veterans was 75.7 years, and 95.9% were male. Approximately half of UTI episodes (45.7%) were culture positive and 25.7% were culture negative. Escherichia coli was recovered in 34.1% of culture-positive UTI episodes, followed by Proteus mirabilis and Klebsiellaspp, which were recovered in 24.5% and 17.4% of culture-positive UTI episodes, respectively. The rate of total antibiotic use in days of therapy (DOT) per 1,000 bed days decreased by 10.1% per year (95% CI, −13.6% to −6.5%) and fluoroquinolone use (ciprofloxacin or levofloxacin) decreased by 14.5% per year (95% CI, −20.6% to −7.8%) among UTI episodes overall. Similar reductions in rates of total antibiotic use and fluoroquinolone use were observed among culture-positive UTI episodes and among culture-negative UTI episodes.

Conclusion: Over a 5-year period, antibiotic use for UTIs significantly decreased among VA CLCs, as did use of fluoroquinolones. Antibiotic stewardship efforts across VA CLCs should be applauded, and these efforts should continue.