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Microbiology Labs Should Be Seen as Integral to Antibiotic Stewardship Efforts


Daniel Diekema, MD, professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Iowa, explains why microbiology labs should be seen as an integral part of antimicrobial stewardship efforts.

Interview Transcript (modified slightly for readability):

“I would like it if [clinicians] understood how much the microbiology lab needs to be and wants to be part of the stewardship program at every hospital and part of the infection prevention program. I think that rather than seeing the microbiology lab as being sort of supportive of these missions, the micro lab should really be seen as integral to these missions. And so, they should be at the table when we talk about initiatives to prevent infection and initiatives to improve the way we treat infections.

One good example of the importance of having the lab at the table is the lab might introduce a new method for testing that’s very sensitive, like the Clostridium difficile PCR test. And if the infection prevention program is not aware of that, or involved in some of that decision-making, they will be very surprised to find that suddenly the C. difficile infection rate has increased by 50% to 100%. And so, situations like that, which really require advance planning and preparation, when new tests are introduced, can avoid some of these pitfalls or problems.”
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