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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 67-75

Use of comments in clinical microbiology reporting: The need of the hour

1 Department of Microbiology, JIPMER, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Microbiology, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Pondicherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Apurba Sankar Sastry
Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, JIPMER, Puducherry
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jacm.jacm_34_21

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The clinical microbiology reporting (CMR) for culture and antimicrobial susceptibility test (C and AST) is the most important investigation reported from a microbiology laboratory. However, majority of Indian microbiology laboratories generate a basic level C and AST report comprising of identification of the organism isolated with a list of antimicrobials and their susceptibility results, without any additional comments or messages. This leads to improper communication between the laboratory physicians and clinical physicians. This may further lead to irrational use of antimicrobials, improper specimen collection practices, inappropriate filing of requisition forms and poor infection control practices, which are mainly due to either unawareness or negligence of clinicians. Therefore, it is essential that the laboratory microbiologists of India should uplift themselves to clinical microbiologists and foster their CMR to higher standards by incorporating specific comments, suggestions and advices in the C and AST report, as recommended by the regulatory agencies such as Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute and European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing. The comments may be of several types which include report categories, in-progress reports, requisition form filling, specimen collection, footnotes in the AST table, infection control advices, antimicrobial agent-related suggestions, predicted susceptibility related and intrinsic resistance comments, etc. The use of comments will greatly help the clinicians to rationalise their antimicrobial practice, improvise practices of specimen collection, requisition form filling and finally instituting the appropriate infection control practices. These comments mentioned in this article are only author's recommendations; the end users may incorporate according their local practice and need.

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