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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Molecular Methods in Clinical Microbiology. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Challenges for Implementation: Cost

Implementing molecular methods may involve purchasing an equipment platform that represents a significant capital investment. Reagents for the assays are frequently more expensive, on a cost per test basis, than either culture or antigen detection methods. Reimbursement issues, although improving, can be more complex. Realistically, implementations of molecular methods are likely to represent increased costs that do need to be weighed against the potential benefits that can be realized.

When considering the implementation of a molecular method, the following question should be asked:

Will the methods significantly impact/improve clinical management and patient outcomes, reduce antimicrobial costs and lengths of stay, and/or facilitate infection control, epidemiology, or antibiotic stewardship programs?

The answer may not be "yes" for every single agent of infectious disease for which molecular methods are now available.