Deficits in knowledge, attitude, and practice towards blood culture sampling: results of a nationwide mixed-methods study among inpatient care physicians in Germany.

Research paper by Heike H Raupach-Rosin, Arne A Duddeck, Maike M Gehrlich, Charlotte C Helmke, Johannes J Huebner, Mathias W MW Pletz, Rafael R Mikolajczyk, André A Karch

Indexed on: 17 Feb '17Published on: 17 Feb '17Published in: Infection


Blood culture (BC) sampling rates in Germany are considerably lower than recommended. Aim of our study was to assess knowledge, attitudes, and practice of physicians in Germany regarding BC diagnostics.We conducted a cross-sectional mixed-methods study among physicians working in inpatient care in Germany. Based on the results of qualitative focus groups, a questionnaire-based quantitative study was conducted in 2015-2016. In total, 706 medical doctors and final-year medical students from 11 out of 16 federal states in Germany participated.BC sampling was considered an important diagnostic tool by 95% of the participants. However, only 23% of them would collect BCs in three scenarios for which BC ordering is recommended by present guidelines in Germany; almost one out of ten physicians would not have taken blood cultures in any of the three scenarios. The majority of participants (74%) reported not to adhere to the guideline recommendation that blood culture sampling should include at least two blood culture sets from two different injection sites. High routine in blood culture sampling, perceived importance of blood culture diagnostics, the availability of an in-house microbiological lab, and the department the physician worked in were identified as predictors for good blood culture practice.Our study suggests that there are substantial deficits in BC ordering and the application of guidelines for good BC practice in Germany. Based on these findings, multimodal interventions appear necessary for improving BC diagnostics.