Using Antibiograms to Improve Antibiotic Prescribing in Skilled Nursing Facilities

Antibiograms have effectively improved antibiotic prescribing in acute-care settings; however, their effectiveness in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) is currently unknown.


To develop SNF-specific antibiograms and identify opportunities to improve antibiotic prescribing.


Cross-sectional and pretest-posttest study among residents of 3 Maryland SNFs.


Antibiograms were created using clinical culture data from a 6-month period in each SNF. We also used admission clinical culture data from the acute care facility primarily associated with each SNF for transferred residents. We manually collected all data from medical charts, and antibiograms were created using WHONET software. We then used a pretest-posttest study to evaluate the effectiveness of an antibiogram on changing antibiotic prescribing practices in a single SNF. Appropriate empirical antibiotic therapy was defined as an empirical antibiotic choice that sufficiently covered the infecting organism, considering antibiotic susceptibilities.


We reviewed 839 patient charts from SNF and acute care facilities. During the initial assessment period, 85% of initial antibiotic use in the SNFs was empirical, and thus only 15% of initial antibiotics were based on culture results. Fluoroquinolones were the most frequently used empirical antibiotics, accounting for 54.5% of initial prescribing instances. Among patients with available culture data, only 35% of empirical antibiotic prescribing was determined to be appropriate. In the single SNF in which we evaluated antibiogram effectiveness, prevalence of appropriate antibiotic prescribing increased from 32% to 45% after antibiogram implementation; however, this was not statistically significant ([Formula: see text]).


Implementation of antibiograms may be effective in improving empirical antibiotic prescribing in SNFs.


Infectieziekten en Medische microbiologieOuderengeneeskundeEducational gatheringsOrganizational interventionsOverigBehandeling medicatie



Furuno JP
Comer AC
Johnson JK
Rosenberg JH
Moore SL
MacKenzie TD
Hall KK
Hirshon JM