What is an infectious diseases pharmacist?
Infectious diseases (ID) pharmacists are experts in antimicrobial pharmacotherapy. This includes antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antiparasitic drugs. Many of these pharmacists have also obtained substantial knowledge related to the diagnosis and management of infectious processes as well as clinical microbiology. ID pharmacists are also spearheading many antimicrobial stewardship programs.
There are essentially four areas for ID pharmacists to practice. These may overlap for an individual ID pharmacist.
- Inpatient clinical infectious diseases pharmacists
- These ID pharmacists are highly knowledgable about antimicrobial drugs used in the treatment of complex patient cases in the hospital setting from admission through discharge. They are notably skilled at selecting and optimizing intravenous antimicrobial drug use.
- Outpatient clinical infectious diseases pharmacists
- These ID pharmacists are highly knowledgable about antimicrobial drugs used to manage patients in the outpatient setting with conditions such as hepatitis C, HIV, or on intravenous antibiotics at home. They are notably skilled at patient counseling and chronic disease state management.
- Antimicrobial stewardship pharmacists
- Antimicrobial stewardship involves program management and extends beyond clinical infectious diseases into quality management, informatics, education, implementation science, administration, plus more. Many stewardship pharmacists also provide clinical ID pharmacist services.
- Academic infectious diseases pharmacists
- These ID pharmacists commonly have patient care-related responsibilities, but compared to the others above have more research and education responsibilities. Academic ID pharmacists frequently are highly engaged in professional service activities.
READINGS / RESOURCES
- ASHP Statement on the Pharmacist’s Role in Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infection Prevention and Control
Timothy P. Gauthier, Pharm.D., BCPS-AQ ID
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