Underutilization and quality gaps in blood culture processing in public hospitals of Peru

Fiorella Krapp, Claudia Rondon, Catherine Amaro, Evelyn Barco-Yaipén, María Valera-Krumdieck, Rubén Vásquez, Alexander Briones, Martin Casapia, Antonio Burgos, Favio Sarmiento López, Pierina Vilcapoma, Roberto Díaz Sipión, Miguel Villegas-Chiroque, Kelly Castillo, Jimena Pino-Dueñas, Edwin Cuaresma Cuadros, Hugo Alpaca-Salvador, René Campana, Teresa Peralta Córdova, Elizett Sierra ChavezCarla Aguado Ventura, Marjan Peeters, Jan Jacobs, Coralith Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review

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Correct processing of blood cultures may impact individual patient management, antibiotic stewardship, and scaling up of antimicrobial resistance surveillance. To assess the quality of blood culture processing, we conducted four assessments at 16 public hospitals across different regions of Peru. We assessed the following standardized quality indicators: 1) positivity and contamination rates, 2) compliance with recommended number of bottles/sets and volume of blood sampled, 3) blood culture utilization, and 4) possible barriers for compliance with recommendations. Suboptimal performance was found, with a median contamination rate of 4.2% (range 0-15.1%), with only one third of the participating hospitals meeting the target value of < 3%; and a median positivity rate of 4.9% (range 1-8.1%), with only 6 out of the 15 surveilled hospitals meeting the target of 6-12%. None of the assessed hospitals met both targets. The median frequency of solitary blood cultures was 71.9% and only 8.9% (N = 59) of the surveyed adult bottles met the target blood volume of 8 - 12 mL, whereas 90.5% (N = 602) were underfilled. A high frequency of missed opportunities for ordering blood cultures was found (30.1%, 95/316) among patients with clinical indications for blood culture sampling. This multicenter study demonstrates important shortcomings in the quality of blood culture processing in public hospitals of Peru. It provides a national benchmark of blood culture utilization and quality indicators that can be used to monitor future quality improvement studies and diagnostic stewardship policies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)432–440
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021


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