Is your Infectious Disease or Clinical Micro Service Understaffed? Have a look

'Sorry, we're shorthanded - please pass over the scalpel...'

‘Sorry, we’re shorthanded – please pass over the scalpel…’

By Bojana Beovic

Infectious diseases and clinical microbiology specialties have undergone extreme changes in its scope in the last decades. Starting with HIV epidemics, these changes are far from and end. The rise of antimicrobial resistance, infections in other types of immunocompromised, new or newly recognized infections, the diseases brought about with the globalisation and political changes including extensive migrations, the increase in geriatric population and several other topics that became a part of ID physician workload. In addition the increase in workload is accompanied by a diversification of the ID physician’s work: some activities are out-patient clinic based, some of them ward based, and some of them such as antimicrobial stewardship and infection control are spread horizontally in hospitals. Surprisingly, there were no data on staffing needed to cover all these activities.


A recent survey led by Mical Paul (Dickstein Y, et al. Staffing for infectious diseases, clinical microbiology and infection control in hospitals in 2015: results of an ESCMID member survey. Clinical Microbiology and Infection. 2016) brings about important information on staffing for infectious diseases, clinical microbiology and infection control in European hospitals in 2015. The survey provides an insight in this topic showing different situations with regard to the number of physicians and the specialty pattern covering various areas of infectious diseases.


According to the authors:

  • More than 50% of respondents thought that additional ID/clinical micro staffing was needed
  • As no standard of physician staffing for ID/CM/IC in hospitals is available, a ratio of 1.21 (ID clinical micro docs)/100 beds* could serve as an informed point of reference enabling antimicrobial stewardship and infection surveillance.


For further read, see here.


* The median ID/CM/IC physician per 100 hospital beds ratio in hospitals performing basic antimicrobial stewardship and infection control (including local antibiotic guidelines and monitoring device-related or surgical site infections) was 1.21 (interquartile range 0.57–2.14)

Leave a Reply