Improving Antibiotic Prescribing for Pediatric Urinary Tract Infections in Outpatient Settings


To determine if a multicomponent intervention was associated with increased use of first-line antibiotics (cephalexin or sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim) among children with uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs) in outpatient settings.


The study was conducted at Kaiser Permanente Colorado, a large health care organization with ~127 000 members <18 years of age. After conducting a gap analysis, an intervention was developed to target key drivers of antibiotic prescribing for pediatric UTIs. Intervention activities included development of new local clinical guidelines, a live case-based educational session, pre- and postsession e-mailed knowledge assessments, and a new UTI-specific order set within the electronic health record. Most activities were implemented on April 26, 2017. The study design was an interrupted time series comparing antibiotic prescribing for UTIs before versus after the implementation date. Infants <60 days old and children with complex urologic or neurologic conditions were excluded.


During January 2014 to September 2018, 2142 incident outpatient UTIs were identified (1636 preintervention and 506 postintervention). Pyelonephritis was diagnosed for 7.6% of cases. Adjusted for clustering of UTIs within clinicians, the proportion of UTIs treated with first-line antibiotics increased from 43.4% preintervention to 62.4% postintervention (P < .0001). The use of cephalexin (first-line, narrow spectrum) increased from 28.9% preintervention to 53.0% postintervention (P < .0001). The use of cefixime (second-line, broad spectrum) decreased from 17.3% preintervention to 2.6% postintervention (P < .0001). Changes in prescribing practices persisted through the end of the study period.


A multicomponent intervention with educational and process-improvement elements was associated with a sustained change in antibiotic prescribing for uncomplicated pediatric UTIs.

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