Document Type


Date of Original Version



Pharmacy Practice


Background: Suboptimal antibiotic treatment of urinary tract infection (UTI) is high in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) and likely varies between facilities. Large-scale evaluations have not been conducted.

Aim: To identify facility-level predictors of potentially suboptimal treatment of UTI in Veterans Affairs (VA) LTCFs and to quantify variation across facilities.

Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of 21,938 residents in 120 VA LTCFs (2013–2018) known as Community Living Centers (CLCs). Potentially suboptimal treatment was assessed from drug choice, dose frequency, and/or treatment duration. To identify facility characteristics predictive of suboptimal UTI treatment, LTCFs with higher and lower rates of suboptimal treatment (≥median, < median) were compared using unconditional logistic regression models. Joinpoint regression models were used to quantify average percentage difference across facilities. Multilevel logistic regression models were used to quantify variation across facilities.

Findings: The rate of potentially suboptimal antibiotic treatment varied from 1.7 to 34.2 per 10,000 bed-days across LTCFs. The average percentage difference in rates across facilities was 2.5% (95% confidence interval (CI): 2.4–2.7). The only facility characteristic predictive of suboptimal treatment was the incident rate of UTI per 10,000 bed-days (odds ratio: 4.9; 95% CI: 2.3–10.3). Multilevel models demonstrated that 94% of the variation between facilities was unexplained after controlling for resident and CLC characteristics. The median odds ratio for the full multilevel model was 1.37.

Conclusion: Potentially suboptimal UTI treatment was variable across VA LTCFs. However, most of the variation across LTCFs was unexplained. Future research should continue to investigate factors that are driving suboptimal antibiotic treatment in LTCFs.

Publication Title

Journal of Hospital Infection