Impact of a Rapid Blood Culture Diagnostic Panel on Time to Optimal Antimicrobial Therapy at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Jordan M. Chiasson, Winter J. Smith, Tomasz Z. Jodlowski, Marcus A. Kouma, James B. Cutrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: Utilization of rapid diagnostic testing alongside intensive antimicrobial stewardship interventions improves patient outcomes. We sought to determine the clinical impact of a rapid blood culture identification (BCID) panel in an established Antimicrobial Stewardship Program (ASP) with limited personnel resources. Methods: A single center retrospective pre- and post-intervention cohort study was performed following the implementation of a BCID panel on patients admitted with at least 1 positive blood culture during the study period. The primary outcome was time to optimal therapy from blood culture collection. Secondary outcomes included days of therapy (DOT), length of stay, and 30-day mortality and readmission rates. Results: 277 patients were screened with 180 patients included, with 82 patients in the pre-BCID and 98 in the post-BCID arms. Median time to optimal therapy was 73.8 hours (IQR; 1.1-79.6) in the pre-BCID arm and 34.7 hours (IQR; 10.9-71.6) in the post-BCID arm (p ≤ 0.001). Median DOT for vancomycin was 4 and 3 days (p ≤ 0.001), and for piperacillin-tazobactam was 3.5 and 2 days (p ≤ 0.007), for the pre-BCID and post-BCID arms, respectively. Median length of hospitalization was decreased from 11 to 9 days (p = 0.031). No significant change in 30-day readmission rate was noted, with a trend toward lower mortality (12% vs 5%; p = 0.086). Conclusion: Introduction of BCID into the daily workflow resulted in a significant reduction in time to optimal therapy for bloodstream infections and DOT for select broad-spectrum antibiotics, highlighting the potential benefits of rapid diagnostics even in settings with limited personnel resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • anti-infective agents
  • antimicrobial stewardship
  • infectious disease
  • molecular diagnostics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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