Rapid diagnostics are essential for providing optimal patient treatment and combatting the threat from antibiotic resistant organisms. This program illustrates the challenges with diagnosing meningitis, which is a worldwide problem, and the benefits that can be realized from rapid diagnostics.
Infectious meningitis may be due to bacterial, mycobacterial, fungal or viral agents and often each initially presents with similar signs and symptoms. Diagnosis of meningitis must take into account numerous items of patient history and symptomatology along with regional epidemiology and basic cerebrospinal fluid testing (protein, etc.) to allow the clinician to stratify the likelihood of etiology possibilities and rationally select additional diagnostic tests.
Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs are gaining acceptance around the world. Infectious disease physicians, clinical pharmacists, infection preventionists, hospital and laboratory administrators, IT professionals, clinical microbiologists, and laboratory technologists all play critical roles in antimicrobial stewardship. As stewardship programs evolve, the focus will be shifted toward clinical outcomes and total cost of patient care. Sepsis can be a life-threatening condition in which rapid administration of appropriate antimicrobials can significantly improve survival and mitigate unnecessary antibiotic utilization. Creation of clinical pathways, provider education, and active stewardship intervention for rapid blood culture identification utilizing multiplex PCR will be discussed.
David R Boulware MD, MPH, CTropMed
University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)
John M. Hurst, PharmD, BCPS
St. Anthony Hospital (Oklahoma City, OK)