Almost 50% of patients infected by multidrug-resistant organisms — including carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae — receive delayed antibiotic therapy, according to a study presented at IDWeek 2016. Researchers say this points to a greater need to identify these patients sooner.

Researchers investigated the impact of timely versus delayed antibiotic therapy on outcomes in more than 6,000 patients with serious infections. Timely therapy was delivered on or within 2 days of a positive culture test, and any therapy given after that point was considered delayed.

In multivariate regression models, patients who received delayed treatment averaged 3.7 more days of antibiotic therapy, 4.1 more days in length of stay, and $7,587 more in total in-hospital costs than those who received timely therapy. In both groups, room and board represented about 55% of total costs, while antibiotics represented only 3%, according to the researchers.