AHRQ – Minimum Criteria Toolkit

Angie SzumlinskiHealth, News

AHRQ – Minimum Criteria Toolkit

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), between 25 and 75% of antibiotic prescriptions in nursing homes do not meet clinical guidelines for prescribing. Unnecessary antibiotics can result in side effects and drug-resistant bacteria. The Minimum Criteria for Common Infections toolkit (“Minimum Criteria Toolkit”) aims to reduce unnecessary prescribing for the three infections where antibiotics are most frequently prescribed in nursing homes (1) urinary tract infections (UTIs), (2) lower respiratory tract infections and (3) skin and soft tissue infections.

The toolkit includes:

  • A sample policy
  • Suspected infection SBAR forms
  • A mobile web site/web application
  • A letter for prescribing clinicians
  • Training for staff

The toolkit also includes a five-step process for implementing the toolkit including:

  1. Incorporating the communication tools into standard practices.
  2. Introducing the toolkit to prescribing clinicians.
  3. Training nursing staff to use the toolkit.
  4. Incorporating the potential infection SBAR forms into daily practice.
  5. Minimum Criteria App to use a reference tool.

Isn’t it time for you to take charge of your antibiotic stewardship program? Wouldn’t you like to see better outcomes in resident care? If so you may access this toolkit in its entirety at:


(The Minimum Criteria for Common Infections toolkit was created by the American Institutes for Research, Texas A&M University Health Science Center, University of Wisconsin, TMF Health Quality Institute, Trivedi Consultants LLC, University of Pittsburgh and David Mehr, MD for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, contract #HHSA290201000018; Task Order No. 2.)