aDepartment of Infectious Diseases, Infection Control, and Employee Health bDivision of Internal Medicine, Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW:
Traditional utilization of infectious diseases consultants by oncologists ranges from inpatient management of a variety of acute infectious syndromes to management of ambulatory patients with acute or chronic infections; however, there is a paucity of data to evaluate in which circumstances the impact of infectious diseases input may be most valuable.
Data derived from the general population of patients emphasize the value of infectious diseases consultation in specific infections, such as Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia, candidemia, and hepatitis C virus infection. In addition, infectious diseases involvement has been associated with greater adherence to guidelines (up to 34% increase), more appropriate antibiotic utilization (up to 52% increase in appropriate duration), decreased cost and complications of care, and lower mortality (up to 17% decrease). Recent studies suggest that bedside, formal infectious diseases consultation is more optimal than informal interactions (e.g., e-mail, telephone, other). Furthermore, infectious diseases consultants play central roles in antibiotic stewardship, infection control, and quality improvement, particularly in oncology centers.
Infectious diseases consultants contribute value in various inpatient and outpatient infections, decreasing mortality, cost, and complications.