Antimicrobial stewardship is critical in patient care


Test-to-treat protocol can assist in knowing whether an antibiotic is necessary.

October 18, 2023


Today, antibiotics remain some of our most important tools in the medical toolbox for treating bacterial respiratory infections. They are also used in treating other common infectious syndromes, such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and urinary tract infections (UTIs). However, if we aren’t more careful about their appropriate use, they may cease to be effective – and in some cases, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus,¹ they already have.

Since 2010, outpatient antibiotic prescription rates in the US have been declining with broad-spectrum antibiotic and pediatric prescriptions dropping the most significantly.² This decline indicates considerable progress is being made in public health campaigns and through antimicrobial stewardship efforts to limit the use of antibiotics and prevent the spread of resistant bacteria. Yet there is still much improvement to be made as significant threats still exist that could increase antibiotic resistance. A Pew study³ found more than half of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the U.S. received antibiotics in the pandemic’s first six months. 

UCLA’s Omai Garner, Ph.D., (ABMM), Intermountain Health’s Payal Patel, M.D., and Roche’s Alesia McKeown, Ph.D., discuss how gold-standard PCR tests, known for enabling more accurate diagnosis,⁴ and including appropriate and timely antimicrobial prescription.





Omai Garner, Ph.D., D (ABMM), is a clinical professor and director of Clinical Microbiology in the UCLA Health System. Garner's research focuses on novel point of care devices for infectious disease diagnosis in the developing world.

Payal Patel, M.D., is an associate professor at Intermountain Health and the systemwide medical director of antimicrobial stewardship. She is an infectious diseases physician and is passionate about improving antimicrobial stewardship. She serves on the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic Resistance.

Alesia McKeown, Ph.D., is a scientific partner in Roche Molecular Lab’s infectious disease team. She serves as a subject matter expert for high-throughput and point-of-care respiratory diagnostics, and co-leads the respiratory integrated medical team within the infectious disease network. She is driven to combine her expertise in molecular diagnostics and viral evolution to provide innovative solutions for improved patient care.

Pneumonia and diagnostics

Dr. Patel points to pneumonia as a good example of how better diagnostics, such as PCR tests, can make a difference in antimicrobial management.


At the point of care, how do clinicians manage patient expectations for a prescription and make the best clinical call? 

STIs, drug resistance and point of care diagnostics

STI testing at the point of care can make a difference for patients in improving access and equity, while improving antimicrobial stewardship.

Test results, collaboration and TB

Simply buying a new test is not enough. Collaboration needs to take place among clinical teams and across the entire health system to ensure that decision-making includes test results.


Making gold-standard PCR testing accessible at the point of care

Learn more about why it matters to have the right test, for the right patient, at the right time – and get insights into how to resolve potential challenges in diagnostic implementation. 

Read more

Making gold-standard PCR testing accessible at the point of care


  1. Last accessed Sept. 11, 2023.
  2. BlueCross BlueShield The Health of America report. Last accessed Oct. 25, 2023. 
  3. Last accessed Sept. 11, 2023.
  4. Last accessed Oct. 2, 2023.