Development of quality indicators for the antibiotic treatment of complicated urinary tract infections: a first step to measure and improve care

Clin Infect Dis. 2008 Mar 1;46(5):703-11. doi: 10.1086/527384.


Background: Appropriateness of antibiotic treatment of urinary tract infection (UTI) is important. The aim of this study was to develop a set of valid, reliable, and applicable indicators to assess the quality of antibiotic use in the treatment of hospitalized patients with complicated UTI.

Methods: A multidisciplinary panel of 13 experts reviewed and prioritized recommendations extracted from a recently developed evidence-based national guideline for the treatment of complicated UTI. The content validity was assessed in 2 consecutive rounds with an in-between discussion meeting. Next, we tested the feasibility, interobserver reliability, opportunity for improvement, and case-mix stability of the potential indicators for a data set of 341 inpatients and outpatients with complicated UTIs who were treated at the urology or internal medicine departments at 4 hospitals.

Results: The panel selected and prioritized 13 indicators. Four and 9 indicators were performed satisfactorily in the urology and internal medicine departments, as follows: performance of urine culture, prescription of treatment in accordance with guidelines, tailoring of treatment on the basis of culture results, and a switch to oral treatment when possible in the urology and internal medicine departments; and selective use of fluoroquinolones, administration of treatment for at least 10 days, prescription of treatment for men in accordance with guidelines, replacement of catheters in patients with UTI, and adaptation of the dosage on the basis of renal function in the internal medicine department.

Conclusion: A systemic evidence- and consensus-based approach was used to develop a set of valid quality indicators. Tests of the applicability of these indicators in practice in different settings is essential before they are used in quality-improvement strategies.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / complications
  • Urinary Tract Infections / drug therapy*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents