Journal article Open Access

The Urine-culturing Cascade: Variation in Nursing Home Urine Culturing and Association With Antibiotic Use and Clostridiodes difficile Infection

Brown, Kevin Antoine; Daneman, Nick; Schwartz, Kevin L.; Langford, Bradley; McGeer, Allison; Quirk, Jacquelyn; Diong, Christina; Garber, Gary

Background: Rates of antibiotic use vary widely across nursing homes and cannot be explained by resident characteristics. Antibiotic prescribing for a presumed urinary tract infection is often preceded by inappropriate urine culturing. We examined nursing home urine-culturing practices and their association with antibiotic use. Methods We conducted a longitudinal, multilevel, retrospective cohort study based on quarterly nursing home assessments between April 2014 and January 2017 in 591 nursing homes and covering >90% of nursing home residents in Ontario, Canada. Nursing home urine culturing was measured as the proportion of residents with a urine culture in the prior 14 days. Outcomes included receipt of any systemic antibiotic and any urinary antibiotic (eg, nitrofurantoin, trimethoprim/sulfonamides, ciprofloxacin) in the 30 days after the assessment and Clostridiodes difficile infection in the 90 days after the assessment. Adjusted Poisson regression models accounted for 14 resident covariates. Results: A total of 131 218 residents in 591 nursing homes were included; 7.9% of resident assessments had a urine culture in the prior 14 days; this proportion was highly variable across the 591 nursing homes (10th percentile = 3.4%, 90th percentile = 14.3%). Before and after adjusting for 14 resident characteristics, nursing home urine culturing predicted total antibiotic use (adjusted risk ratio [RR] per doubling of urine culturing, 1.21; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.18–1.23), urinary antibiotic use (RR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.28–1.38), and C. difficile infection (incidence rate ratio, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.07–1.31). Conclusions Nursing homes have highly divergent urine culturing rates; this variability is associated with higher antibiotic use and rates of C. difficile infection.

Files (576.1 kB)
Name Size
576.1 kB Download
Views 17
Downloads 37
Data volume 21.3 MB
Unique views 13
Unique downloads 32


Cite as