Bacterial Misidentification in a Resource-Limited Microbiology Laboratory Setting and Quality Improvement Strategies

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Bacterial misidentification and misinterpretation of antimicrobial susceptibility test results directly impact patient safety related to inappropriate antibiotic management. Moreover, these problems potentially affect infection control practices such as patient isolation when misidentification involves multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs).1,2 In Thailand, a highly endemic region of MDRO and carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, accurate microbiological testing is essential to appropriate patient care and good clinical outcomes.3–5 We report misidentification of 7 bacterial isolates during a 1-month period, which was recognized by Infectious Diseases Consultants (IDCs). Infection preventionists (IPs) conducted an investigation and implemented quality improvement (QI) strategies for improving microbiology laboratory workflow and identification protocols.

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