Background: Measuring the appropriateness of antibiotic prescribing in nursing homes remains a challenge. The revised McGeer criteria, which are widely used to conduct infection surveillance in nursing homes, were not designed to assess antibiotic appropriateness. The Loeb criteria were explicitly designed for this purpose but are infrequently used outside investigational studies. The extent to which the revised McGeer and Loeb criteria overlap and can be used interchangeably for tracking antibiotic appropriateness in nursing homes remains insufficiently studied.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional chart review study in 5 Wisconsin nursing homes and applied the revised McGeer and Loeb criteria to all nursing home-initiated antibiotic treatment courses. Kappa (κ) statistics were employed to assess level of agreement overall and by treatment indications.
Results: Overall, 734 eligible antibiotic courses were initiated in participating nursing homes during the study period. Of 734 antibiotic courses, 372 (51%) satisfied the Loeb criteria, while only 211 (29%) of 734 satisfied the revised McGeer criteria. Only 169 (23%) of 734 antibiotic courses satisfied both criteria, and the overall level of agreement between them was fair (κ = 0.35). When stratified by infection type, levels of agreement between the revised McGeer and Loeb criteria were moderate for urinary tract infections (κ = 0.45), fair for skin and soft-tissue infections (0.36), and slight for respiratory tract infections (0.17).
Conclusions: Agreement between the revised McGeer and Loeb criteria is limited, and nursing homes should employ the revised McGeer and Loeb criteria for their intended purposes. Studies to establish the best method for ongoing monitoring of antibiotic appropriateness in nursing homes are needed.