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J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2016 Jun 1;17(6):491-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2015.12.018. Epub 2016 Feb 2.

Telephone Survey of Infection-Control and Antibiotic Stewardship Practices in Long-Term Care Facilities in Maryland.

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Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Electronic address:
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, MD.
Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.



Multidrug-resistant organisms are an emerging and serious threat to the care of patients. Long-term care facilities are considered a reservoir of these organisms partly because of the over-prescribing of antibiotics. Antibiotic use is common in long-term care facilities. Antibiotic stewardship programs have been shown to reduce antibiotic consumption in acute-care facilities. The purpose of our study is to investigate existing infection-control practices and antibiotic stewardship programs in long-term care facilities in Maryland.


We telephoned the infection-control personnel in 231 long-term care facilities in Maryland between February 2014 and July 2015 and reached 124 facilities (59%).


Among the 124 facilities surveyed, there were 14,371 beds and 337 infection-control personnel with basic infection-control training. Close to 20% of facilities use silver- or antimicrobial-impregnated urinary catheters. Most facilities (97%) track urinary tract infections. Although all report to the health department in the case of an outbreak, only 63 (50.8 %) report directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 80% of facilities isolate patients with Clostridium difficile, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci with acute infections only. Eighty percent of facilities have basic guidance on choice of antibiotic, and 27% have a restricted formulary. Only 25% of facilities have an antibiotic approval process. Thirty-five percent of facilities have training for antibiotics prescribing. However, 17% of facilities did not know whether such training existed.


Antibiotic stewardship programs in long-term care facilities are still in early development stages, but our results demonstrate that the majority of facilities are collecting data on prescribing antibiotics, and a surprising number have antibiotic approval and antibiotics prescribing training.


Long-term care; Maryland; antibiotic stewardship; telephone survey

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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