Wednesday, July 11, 2007
This presentation is part of : Investigating Antibiotics: How to choose what to prescribe in the Acute Care Setting
Utilizing Antibiograms to Prescribe Antibiotics
Nichole A. Crenshaw, ARNP, MSN, Division of Trauma/Surgical Critical Care, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, FL, USA

The Clinical & Laboratory Standards Institute defines an antibiogram as an overall profile of antimicrobial susceptibility results of a microbial species to a battery of antimicrobial agents, which should reflect patient care needs along with the institutions formulary.

Antibiograms are an important resource for healthcare professionals involved in deciding and prescribing empiric antibiotic therapy. Appropriate empiric therapy is essential in attempting to treat infections correctly and quickly in an effort to decrease mortality. The uses of antibiograms are also helpful in identifying trends in antibiotic resistance.

Basic components of an antibiogram include: antibiotics tested, organisms tested, number of isolates for each organism, percentage susceptibility data for each drug/pathogen combination, specimen sites notations (e.g. blood, urine, catheters) and specific area or unit being tested.

It is important to tailor antibiotics as soon as sensitivities are known. This is the best way to avoid drug resistance and new/emerging organisms that are resistant. The goal to minimizing infection is to prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics based on unit specific antibiograms.