BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2021 May 5;21(1):148. doi: 10.1186/s12911-021-01509-7.
BACKGROUND: In 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services required all long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, to have an antibiotic stewardship program. Many nursing homes lack the resources, expertise, or infrastructure to track and analyze antibiotic use measures. Here, we demonstrate that pharmacy invoices are a viable source of data to track and report antibiotic use in nursing homes.
METHODS: The dispensing pharmacy working with several nursing homes in the same healthcare corporation provided pharmacy invoices from 2014 to 2016 as files formatted as comma separated values. We aggregated these files by aligning elements into a consistent set of variables and assessed the completeness of data from each nursing home over time. Data cleaning involved removing rows that did not describe systemic medications, de-duplication, consolidating prescription refills, and removing prescriptions for insulin and opioids, which are medications that were not administered at a regular dose or schedule. After merging this cleaned invoice data to nursing home census data including bed days of care and publicly available data characterizing bed allocation for each nursing home, we used the resulting database to describe several antibiotic use metrics and generated an interactive website to permit further analysis.
RESULTS: The resultant database permitted assessment of the following antibiotic use metrics: days of antibiotic therapy, length of antibiotic therapy, rate of antibiotic starts, and the antibiotic spectrum index. Further, we created a template for summarizing data within a facility and comparing across facilities. https://sunahsong.shinyapps.io/USNursingHomes/ .
CONCLUSIONS: Lack of resources and infrastructure contributes to challenges facing nursing homes as they develop antibiotic stewardship programs. Our experience with using pharmacy invoice data may serve as a useful approach for nursing homes to track and report antibiotic use.