No Implementation Without Representation: Real-Time Pharmacist Intervention Optimizes Rapid Diagnostic Tests for Bacteremia at a Small Community Hospital

Hosp Pharm. 2022 Jun;57(3):377-384. doi: 10.1177/00185787211037554. Epub 2021 Aug 8.


Background: Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for bacteremia allow for early antimicrobial therapy modification based on organism and resistance gene identification. Studies suggest patient outcomes are optimized when infectious disease (ID)-trained antimicrobial stewardship personnel intervene on RDT results. However, data are limited regarding RDT implementation at small community hospitals, which often lack access to on-site ID clinicians. Methods: This study evaluated the impact of RDTs with and without real-time pharmacist intervention (RTPI) at a small community hospital with local pharmacist training and asynchronous support from a remote ID Telehealth pharmacist. Time to targeted therapy (TTT) in patients with bacteremia was compared retrospectively across 3 different time periods: a control without RDT, RDT-only, and RDT with RTPI. Results: Median TTT was significantly faster in both the RDT with RTPI and RDT-only groups compared with the control group (2 vs 25 vs 51 hours respectively; P < .001). TTT was numerically faster for RDT with RTPI compared with RDT-only but did not reach statistical significance (P = .078). Median time to any de-escalation was significantly shorter for RDT with RTPI compared with both RDT-only (14 vs 33 hours; P = .012) and the control group (14 vs 45 hours; P < .001). Median length of stay was also significantly shorter in both RDT groups compared with the control group (4.0 vs 4.1 vs 5.5 hours; P = .013). Conclusion: This study supports RDT use for bacteremia in a small community hospital with ID Telehealth support, suggesting additional benefit with RTPI.

Keywords: antimicrobial stewardship; bacteremia; community hospital; infectious diseases; rapid diagnostic testing; telehealth.