MAY 28, 2014 01:30 PM PDT

Lowering Blood Culture Contamination Rates Using an Evidence-Based Medicine Approach

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  • President, CEO and Laboratory Director, Microbiology Specialists Incorporated
      Alice Schauer Weissfeld, Ph.D., D(ABMM), F(AAM), is the President, CEO, and Laboratory Director of Microbiology Specialists Incorporated, a reference laboratory that she cofounded in 1984. She earned her doctoral degree in microbiology at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Public Health and Medical Laboratory Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Microbiology of the American Academy of Microbiology and was elected to a fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology in 1986.  Dr. Weissfeld is an author of the last three editions of Bailey and Scotts Diagnostic Microbiology, an editor of Clinical Microbiology Newsletter, and a member of the Professional Affairs Committee of ASM.  Dr. Weissfeld is currently a member of ASMs new Professional Practice Committee and Chair of its Subcommittee on Evidence-Based Medicine.  She has been the ASM delegate to the U.S. Pharmacopeia since 2005 and has worked with its Expert Panel to establish best microbiological practices for compounded sterile preparations.  Dr. Weissfeld has won three ASM national awards, the ABMM/ABMLI Professional Recognition Award (1999), the bioMrieux Sonnenwirth Award for Leadership in Clinical Microbiology (2004), and the ASM Founders Distinguished Service Award (2013).


    Blood culture contamination is a huge problem in the hospital. If strict aseptic technique is not used, patients can be treated unnecessarily, leading to complications from intravenous antimicrobial use. Unnecessary treatment costs hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. A number of changes in how blood cultures are collected have been shown to lower the percent contamination. These will be discussed in this presentation.

    Learning Objectives:
    After Completing this activity, the learner will be able to:

    1. Discuss the three interventions that have been shown to lower blood culture contamination
    2. Discuss what a PICO based evidence-review means
    3. Discuss the target for lowering blood culture contamination at their own institution

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