Specimen quality is paramount for microbiology culture in order to ensure the testing is performed appropriately and the results, generated accurately, reflect the patient's clinical situation and guide proper treatment. Several factors play a critical role in guaranteeing the accuracy of the culture results, including adequate specimen collection by the surgeon, proper labeling, and timely transport to the laboratory.
To educate pathologists, surgeons, and other medical personnel involved in the collection and processing of surgical specimens submitted for microbiologic culture. To assure the pathogen is correctly identified, proper protocols must be followed. The accurate identification of the infectious microorganisms from surgical specimens is vital for the treating clinician to ensure the correct antimicrobial therapy is administered.
An analysis of relevant literature was performed by using PubMed. Articles were selected on the basis of their relevance to the topic as well as their date of publication. Articles published between 2000 and 2018 were deemed sufficient for inclusion, while older references, regardless of relevance, were excluded.
The process of properly obtaining specimens for microbiology culture from the operating room is a complex process that requires collaboration between the collecting surgeon and the pathologist and microbiology laboratory in order to provide the highest quality of results from which important treatment decisions are then implemented. Engaging leadership to develop mutually agreed-upon institutional best practices will help not only to standardize practices but also to improve the quality of microbiology results reported.