Microbiology Top 10 Tips (August 2016) - GHNHSFT

The following Top 10 Tips are taken from the GHFT Pathology Summer Newsletter. All newsletters can be found on the GHFT website by following this link.

  1. Do please remember to provide relevant clinical details on microbiology specimen requests.
  2. Providing details of relevant travel history on all pathology specimen requests is important for the safety of laboratory personnel as well as assisting with appropriate microbiological investigation. Travel history includes areas visited, dates of travel and return and date of symptom onset.
  3. Nathnac/Travel Health Pro is a useful travel health resource - “TravelHealthPro is the website comprising the travel health resources of the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).”
  4.  A reminder that information on undertaking microbiology investigations can be found on the GHNHSFT website
  5. Regarding antibiotic susceptibility test results, do please provide details of antibiotic allergy as well as any current or intended antibiotic therapy. Please contact the microbiology department promptly following receipt of a report if additional antibiotic susceptibility testing is felt to be required as many bacterial isolates are only stored for a few days.
  6. Do remember to use our local antibiotic guidelines - The primary care guidelines include information on typical antibiotic activities; see tables on pages 48-49.
  7. Predicting antibiotic susceptibility results is sometimes possible from results already obtained. Common examples: 1) clarithromycin susceptible staphylococci and streptococci can be assumed to be susceptible to clindamycin. 2) tetracycline susceptible bacterial isolates can be assumed to be susceptible to doxycycline.
  8. National infection related resources which you may find useful include:
    NICE CKS (Clinical Knowledge Summaries) service: (search under specialities for infections and infestations)
    “The Green Book” on immunisation
  9. Please provide a direct contact telephone number if possible when requesting clinical advice from a consultant medical microbiologist.
  10. Public Health advice is provided by local Health Protection Teams (HPT). These teams can provide advice and support in relation to immunisation issues as well as health protection incidents and outbreaks e.g. PVL-Staphylococcus aureus infections, outbreaks in nursing homes and residential care settings.
    They should also be contacted for urgent notifications of notifiable diseases.
    Telephone contact details are: Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire HPT - 03003038162
    West Midlands West HPT (includes Herefordshire and Worcestershire) - 0344 225 3560 (Out of hours 01384 679 031)
'2 Sample Rule' Blood Transfusion Guidance - GHFT

The two sample rule is a national guideline to improve patient safety when receiving transfusions. Please follow the resource link below to view guidance on the current blood transfusion request from including explanation of the '2 sample rule.'

Microbiology Service and Tests - Factors affecting performance - GHNHSFT Guidance

Although not an exhaustive list, the following resource link takes you to factors which may affect the performance of microbiology tests. Steps should be taken wherever possible to minimise the potential  impact of these factors.

Pathology Optimisation - May 2018 Update


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