How the Microbiology Lab Helps Inform Empiric & Directed Therapy

Daniel Diekema, MD, explains how the microbiology lab works to provide optimal drug selection for empiric and directed therapy.

Daniel Diekema, MD, professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Iowa, explains how the microbiology lab works to provide optimal drug selection for empiric and directed therapy.

Interview Transcript (modified slightly for readability):

“For empiric therapy, the most important role is having a good, up-to-date antibiogram that tells you what organisms are likely to be treatable with different antibiotics, and also, producing as quickly as possible the type of organism that’s involved in the infection. And so, being able to identify the organism, even before we know the susceptibility test results, can help them to steer their empiric therapy. When we say 'directed' [therapy], we mean directed by susceptibility data; our role is to try to decrease the time from empiric to directed therapy if we can. The way we’re doing that now is to try to introduce more rapid methods of providing susceptibility results.”