J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2021 Sep 7:S1525-8610(21)00746-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2021.08.019. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate a bundled electronic intervention to improve antibiotic prescribing practices in US nursing homes.
DESIGN: Prospective mixed-methods quality improvement intervention.
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Nursing staff and residents in 13 nursing homes, and residents in 8 matched-control facilities (n = 21 facilities total, from 2 corporations).
METHODS: This study involved a 2-month development period (n = 5 facilities) focused on the acceptability and feasibility of a bundled electronic intervention consisting of 3 tools, followed by a 15-month implementation period (n = 8 facilities) during which we used rapid-cycle quality improvement methods to refine and add to the bundle. We used mixed-methods data from providers, intervention tools, and health records to assess feasibility and conduct a difference-in-difference analysis among the 8 intervention sites and 8 pair-matched controls.
RESULTS: Nurses at 5 pilot sites reported that initial versions of the electronic tools were acceptable and feasible, but barriers emerged when 8 different facilities began implementing the tools, prompting iterative revisions to the training and bundle. The final bundle consisted of 3 electronic tools and training that standardized digital documentation to document and track a change in resident condition, infections, antibiotic prescribing, and antibiotic follow-up. By the end of the implementation phase, all 8 facilities were using at least 1 of the 3 tools. Early antibiotic discontinuation increased 10.5% among intervention sites but decreased 10.8% among control sites.
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: The 3 tools in our bundled electronic intervention capture clinical and prescribing data necessary to assess changes in antibiotic use and were feasible for nurses to adopt. Achieving this required modifying the tools and training before the intervention reached its final form. Comparisons of rates of antibiotic use at intervention and control facilities showed promising improvement in antibiotic discontinuation, demonstrating that the intervention could be evaluated using secondary electronic health record data.