Skip to main content Accesibility Help

Evaluating a Hospitalist-Based Intervention to Decrease Unnecessary Antimicrobial Use in Patients With Asymptomatic Bacteriuria

  • Sarah E. Hartley (a1) (a2), Latoya Kuhn (a2) (a3), Staci Valley (a1), Laraine L. Washer (a1) (a4), Tejal Gandhi (a1), Jennifer Meddings (a1) (a3), Michelle Robida (a5), Salas Sabnis (a5), Carol Chenoweth (a1), Anurag N. Malani (a5), Sanjay Saint (a1) (a2) (a3) and Scott A. Flanders (a1)...

Inappropriate treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) in the hospital setting is common. We sought to evaluate the treatment rate of ASB at the 3 hospitals and assess the impact of a hospitalist-focused improvement intervention.


Prospective, interventional trial.


Two community hospitals and a tertiary-care academic center.


Adult patients with a positive urine culture admitted to hospitalist services were included in this study. Exclusions included pregnancy, intensive care unit admission, history of a major urinary procedure, and actively being treated for a urinary tract infection (UTI) at the time of admission or >48 hours prior to urine collection.


An educational intervention using a pocket card was implemented at all sites followed by a pharmacist-based intervention at the academic center. Medical records of the first 50 eligible patients at each site were reviewed at baseline and after each intervention for signs and symptoms of UTI, microbiological results, antimicrobials used, and duration of treatment for positive urine cultures. Diagnosis of ASB was determined through adjudication by 2 hospitalists and 2 infectious diseases physicians.


Treatment rates of ASB decreased (23.5%; P=.001) after the educational intervention. Reductions in treatment rates for ASB differed by site and were greatest in patients without classic signs and symptoms of UTI (34.1%; P<.001) or urinary catheters (31.2%; P<.001). The pharmacist-based intervention was most effective at reducing ASB treatment rates in catheterized patients.


A hospitalist-focused educational intervention significantly reduced ASB treatment rates. The impact varied across sites and by patient characteristics, suggesting that a tailored approach may be useful.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2016;37:1044–1051

Corresponding author
Address correspondence to Sarah E. Hartley, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Michigan Health System, 1500 E Medical Center Drive, SPC 5736, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (
Hide All

PREVIOUS PRESENTATION. Preliminary data were reported as an abstract at the Society of Hospital Medicine Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, on March 25, 2014.

Hide All
1. Cope, M, Cevallos, ME, Cadle, RM, Darouiche, RO, Musher, DM, Trautner, BW. Inappropriate treatment of catheter-associated asymptomatic bacteriuria in a tertiary care hospital. Clin Infect Dis 2009;48:11821188.
2. Pavese, P, Saurel, N, Labarere, J, et al. Does an educational session with an infectious diseases physician reduce the use of inappropriate antibiotic therapy for inpatients with positive urine culture results? A controlled before-and-after study. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2009;30:596599.
3. Kelley, D, Aaronson, P, Poon, E, McCarter, YS, Bato, B, Jankowski, CA. Evaluation of an antimicrobial stewardship approach to minimize overuse of antibiotics in patients with asymptomatic bacteriuria. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35:193195.
4. Nicolle, LE, Bradley, S, Colgan, R, Rice, JC, Schaeffer, A, Hooton, TM. Infectious Diseases Society of America guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria in adults. Clin Infect Dis 2005;40:643654.
5. Trautner, BW, Petersen, NJ, Hysong, SJ, Horwitz, D, Kelly, PA, Naik, AD. Overtreatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria: identifying provider barriers to evidence-based care. Am J Infect Control 2014;42:653658.
6. Chowdhury, F, Sarkar, K, Branche, A, et al. Preventing the inappropriate treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria at a community teaching hospital. J Community Hosp Intern Med Perspect 2012;2(2). doi: 10.3402/jchimp.v2i2.17814.
7. Bonnal, C, Baune, B, Mion, M, et al. Bacteriuria in a geriatric hospital: impact of an antibiotic improvement program. J Am Med Dir Assoc 2008;9:605609.
8. Leis, JA, Palmay, L, Elligsen, M, Walker, SA, Lee, C, Daneman, N. Lessons from audit and feedback of hospitalized patients with bacteriuria. Am J Infect Control 2014;42:11361137.
9. Linares, LA, Thornton, DJ, Strymish, J, Baker, E, Gupta, K. Electronic memorandum decreases unnecessary antimicrobial use for asymptomatic bacteriuria and culture-negative pyuria. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2011;32:644648.
10. Trautner, BW, Grigoryan, L, Petersen, NJ, et al. Effectiveness of an antimicrobial stewardship approach for urinary catheter-associated asymptomatic bacteriuria. JAMA Intern Med 2015;175:11201127.
11. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion. Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) event. In: The National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) Manual. Atlanta, GA: CDC, 2009. Available at:
12. The prevention and management of urinary tract infections among people with spinal cord injuries. National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research Consensus Statement. J Am Paraplegia Soc 1992;15:194204.
13. Gupta, K, Hooton, TM, Naber, KG, et al. International clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of acute uncomplicated cystitis and pyelonephritis in women: A 2010 update by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the European Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Clin Infect Dis 2011;52:e103e120.
14. Hooton, TM, Bradley, SF, Cardenas, DD, et al. Diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of catheter-associated urinary tract infection in adults: 2009 International Clinical Practice Guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Clin Infect Dis 2010;50:625663.
15. Inouye, SK. The dilemma of delirium: clinical and research controversies regarding diagnosis and evaluation of delirium in hospitalized elderly medical patients. Am J Med 1994;97:278288.
16. Loeb, M, Bentley, DW, Bradley, S, et al. Development of minimum criteria for the initiation of antibiotics in residents of long-term-care facilities: results of a consensus conference. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2001;22:120124.
17. Ogrinc, G, Davies, L, Goodman, D, Batalden, P, Davidoff, F, Stevens, D. SQUIRE 2.0 (Standards for QUality Improvement Reporting Excellence): revised publication guidelines from a detailed consensus process. BMJ Qual Saf 2015:17.
18. Charani, E, Castro-Sanchez, E, Sevdalis, N, et al. Understanding the determinants of antimicrobial prescribing within hospitals: the role of “prescribing etiquette”. Clin Infect Dis 2013;57:188196.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology
  • ISSN: 0899-823X
  • EISSN: 1559-6834
  • URL: /core/journals/infection-control-and-hospital-epidemiology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed