ImProVe study

Identification and modification of problems in indication and executions of blood culture diagnostics in patients with suspected blood stream infection

Blood culture diagnostic is the most important diagnostic test for blood stream infections. The identification of the causal pathogen leads to a target-oriented antibiotic therapy. This does not only reduce lethality in the individual patient, it also contributes to less resistance against antibiotics on the whole. A Europe wide study (EARS-Net) analysed the rate of blood cultures taken in hospitals in different countries. The median rate in German hospitals determined in this study was 16 blood culture diagnostics per 1,000 patient-days, which is the second lowest rate in Europe and below the international recommendation of 100 - 200 blood culture diagnostics per 1,000 patient-days. Our interpretation of the low sampling frequency is that the indication for blood culture tests is not based on international guidelines in German hospitals.

So far, there is no systematic analysis showing which factors are associated with a non-guideline based blood culture diagnostic in Germany. The goal of our study is the identification and modification of factors causing non-guideline based blood culture diagnostic in hospitals. We combine quantitative and qualitative methods to get a complete picture of the current difficulties. The results of this study will help to find specific interventions to optimize blood culture diagnostics. That may lead to a reduction of sepsis associated mortality as well as to less development of resistances against the antibiotics used to cure sepsis.


Zentrum für Qualität und Management im Gesundheitswesen (ZQ), Landesärztekammer Niedersachsen