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Antibiogram-derived radial decision trees: Innovative visual educational tools for discussing empirical antibiotic selections

Paul P. Belliveau, Rocco J. Perla

Abstract

This article describes a unique visual pedagogical tool that displays appropriate empirical antimicrobial treatment choices for anticipated pathogens. This new tool, a probability-based radial decision tree (RDT), transforms data from a traditional hospital antibiogram into a format that can be used as an epidemiologic tool, a guide to empiric antimicrobial therapy and a robust educational tool for display of therapy options for pan-susceptible and drug-resistant isolates. As well-described resistance mechanisms serve the basis for the antimicrobial treatment choices in the RDT, use of this tool provides a means for both displaying treatment choices and explaining the rationale for such options in a logical and systematic manner. Teaching fellow pharmacists and pharmacy students with this tool provides both verbal and visual cues that may allow more efficient conveying of key concepts important to understanding options for treatment of select pathogens.


Keywords

Antibiogram, decision-trees, pedagogy, susceptibility


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References

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