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Why Should the Microbiology Lab Be Incorporated into Antibiotic Stewardship Programs?


Daniel Diekema, MD, professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Iowa, explains why the microbiology laboratory should be a part of antimicrobial stewardship programs.

Interview Transcript (modified slightly for readability):

“Well, I think that [the microbiology lab] should really be part of the antimicrobial stewardship program. Antimicrobial stewardship is really about getting the right antibiotic to the right patient, at the right dose, for the right duration of time, and the lab has really important roles in that. In the laboratory is where we determine what the organism is, which leads to the correct treatment—what antibiotics are best used to treat the organism. And so, the better we do in the lab, the better the patient can be treated for infection.

Other things that we do in the microbiology lab that is really a part of stewardship, are to produce an antibiogram for the institution that adheres to existing guidelines for antibiograms, which helps in empiric therapy—the therapy you start before you know what’s going on. And then, the way we report our susceptibility test results selectively can help steer clinicians to a particular type of antibiotic; that, also, is really essentially a part of stewardship.”
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