September 29th, 2008

Required Reading: The Value of ID Specialists

In the most recent issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, there’s a comprehensive review of the value of an ID specialist from the perspective of non-patient care activities. 

Covered in particular are:

  • Antibiotic stewardship
  • Infection control
  • Monitoring rates of nosocomial infections
  • Managing health care worker “well-being and exposures”

Also included are tables listing dozens of studies quantifying the value of these activities.  It’s an impressive paper, running 12 pages long and including over a hundred references. 

What might be most useful, however, is a section entitled, “Putting the Data to Use Effectively in a Negotiation.”  Here, in best Business School 101-ese, is a step-by-step approach to making the case for our value to hospitals or other health-care centers.  Such negotiating skills are not taught in medical school, residency, or fellowship, and suspect that many of us could use this nice primer.

So if you can’t define “BATNA” (hint:  it’s got nothing to do with rabies), I highly recommend this paper.

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HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

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