HM20 Virtual

Simplifying the antibiotic selection process


 

Hospitalists are constantly battling infection. As patients come through their doors, hospitalists are expected to know the usual suspects – pseudomonas, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus – while also having to balance the potential for adverse reactions, drug shortages, and other challenging clinical scenarios.

Dr. James S. Kim, assistant professor of medicine in the division of hospital medicine, Emory University, Atlanta.

Dr. James S. Kim

James Soo Kim, MD, a hospitalist and assistant professor at Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, a presenter of the session “Antibiotics Made Ridiculously Simple” during HM20 Virtual, said that while he has given this talk at previous Society of Hospital Medicine Annual Conferences, the presentation has undergone significant changes over the years as the landscape of infectious disease treatment has shifted.

He hopes attendees of HM20 Virtual will appreciate the changes and encourages those who have attended his presentation in previous years to come see what is new, but admitted newcomers may think the presentation’s title is a bit of a misnomer.

“Despite the title of the talk, there really isn’t any way to make antibiotics ridiculously simple,” he said.

Dr. Kim, who is also an editorial board member for The Hospitalist, said the origin of “Antibiotics Made Ridiculously Simple” took place during his residency, where he had an interest in infectious disease. This interest carried over to his time in fellowship at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California – and was enough to become board certified in infectious disease by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Infectious disease continues to interest him now as an attending, he said, and since he joined Emory Healthcare in 2012, he has given a version of this presentation every year.

HM20 Virtual attendees will come away from the presentation with an idea of how to choose an antibiotic regimen, Dr. Kim said, including how to select an antibiotic when you’re worried about Pseudomonas, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus or other likely organisms. “There are a variety of drugs out there that have activity against our ‘usual suspects,’ ” he said.

Attendees will also learn to select antibiotic options that have empiric coverage during a shortage of piperacillin/tazobactam (Zosyn), vancomycin, or your preferred drug of choice for treating common infections. He will also review the latest drugs that have been released over the past few years so attendees can add them to their armamentarium.

“I won’t necessarily expect attendees to use everything I talk about, but if you have a patient on service that infectious disease started Vabomere on, you’ll at least have a general idea of what they were worried about,” Dr. Kim said.

One practice pearl he hopes attendees take away from his presentation: Allergies to beta-lactam antibiotics like penicillin (PCN) derivatives are not as common as most providers and patients believe, and not giving these antibiotics to patients can actually decrease the chance that the patient gets appropriate therapy while also increasing the cost of care.

“I hope that my talk changes practice by making people aware of how infrequent true clinically significant PCN cross-reactions are so that patients can get more cost-effective and medically effective therapy,” he said.Dr. Kim reports no relevant financial disclosures.

Antibiotics Made Ridiculously Simple Live Q&A: Tuesday, August 18, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

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