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Frequencies and patterns of microbiology test requests from primary care in Oxfordshire, UK, 2008-2018: a retrospective cohort study of electronic health records to inform point of care testing

Ordóñez-Mena, J; Fanshawe, TR; Foster, D; Andersson, M; Oakley, S; Stoesser, N; Walker, A; (2022) Frequencies and patterns of microbiology test requests from primary care in Oxfordshire, UK, 2008-2018: a retrospective cohort study of electronic health records to inform point of care testing. BMJ Open , 11 , Article e048527. 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-048527. Green open access

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Abstract

Objectives: To inform point-of-care test (POCT) development, we quantified the primary care demand for laboratory microbiology tests by describing their frequencies overall, frequencies of positives, most common organisms identified, temporal trends in testing and patterns of cotesting on the same and subsequent dates. Design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting: Primary care practices in Oxfordshire. Participants :393 905 patients (65% female; 49% aged 18–49). Primary and secondary outcome measures The frequencies of all microbiology tests requested between 2008 and 2018 were quantified. Patterns of cotesting were investigated with heat maps. All analyses were done overall, by sex and age categories. Results: 1 596 752 microbiology tests were requested. Urine culture±microscopy was the most common of all tests (n=673 612, 42%), was mainly requested without other tests and was the most common test requested in follow-up within 7 and 14 days. Of all urine cultures, 180 047 (27%) were positive and 172 651 (26%) showed mixed growth, and Escherichia coli was the most prevalent organism (132 277, 73% of positive urine cultures). Antenatal urine cultures and blood tests in pregnancy (hepatitis B, HIV and syphilis) formed a common test combination, consistent with their use in antenatal screening. Conclusions: The greatest burden of microbiology testing in primary care is attributable to urine culture ± microscopy; genital and routine antenatal urine and blood testing are also significant contributors. Further research should focus on the feasibility and impact of POCTs for these specimen types.

Type: Article
Title: Frequencies and patterns of microbiology test requests from primary care in Oxfordshire, UK, 2008-2018: a retrospective cohort study of electronic health records to inform point of care testing
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-048527
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-048527
Language: English
Additional information: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology > MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10137520
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