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Facilitators and Barriers to Verifying Penicillin Allergies in a Veteran Nursing Home Population.

Gillespie C, Sitter K, McConeghy KW, Strymish J, Gupta K, Hartmann CW, Borzecki AM. Facilitators and Barriers to Verifying Penicillin Allergies in a Veteran Nursing Home Population. The journal of allergy and clinical immunology. In practice. 2023 Sep 1; 11(9):2848-2854.e3.

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BACKGROUND: Unconfirmed penicillin allergies are common and may contribute to adverse outcomes, especially in frail older patients. Evidence-based clinical pathways for evaluating penicillin allergies have been effectively and safely applied in selected settings, but not in nursing home populations. OBJECTIVE: To identify potential facilitators and barriers to implementing a strategy to verify penicillin allergies in Veterans Health Administration nursing homes, known as Community Living Centers (CLCs). METHODS: We conducted semistructured interviews with staff, patients, and family members at 1 CLC to assess their understanding of penicillin allergies and receptiveness to verifying the allergy. We also asked staff about the proposed allergy assessment strategy, including willingness to delabel by history and feasibility of performing oral challenges or skin testing on their unit. RESULTS: From 24 interviews (11 front-line staff, 4 leadership, 3 patients, 6 family members), we identified several facilitators or barriers. Staff recognized the importance of allergy verification and were willing to support and assist in implementing verification strategies. The CLC residents were willing to have their allergy status verified. However, some family members expressed reluctance to verifying their relative''s allergy status owing to safety concerns. Front-line staff also expressed concern over having the necessary resources, including time and expertise, to implement the strategy. Staff suggested involving clinical pharmacists and educating staff, patients, and family members as ways to overcome these barriers. CONCLUSIONS: Concerns about safety and staff resources are important potential barriers to implementing verification strategies. Involvement of pharmacists and education of both staff and patients and family members will be important components of any successful intervention.

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