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How to call a consult for ID

Page history last edited by Laurie Flores 3 years ago

How to call an ID consult

Please discuss the following with your attending before you call:

  • Need/rationale for the consult (versus calling Antimicrobial Stewardship)

  • The specific question(s) for the consult service

  • How urgent the consult is (immediately, today, tomorrow)


What you need to know before you call for a consult:

  • Current antibiotics (including start dates and doses)

  • Any previous antibiotics the patient was given

  • Current culture data (if available)

  • Other pertinent diagnostic work-up results (e.g., CT, echocardiogram, etc.)

  • Previous Infectious Disease recommendations (if available)


Consult Script: (please include the following information)


  • My name is X.

  • I’m a YOUR ROLE (intern, resident, medical student, etc.)

  • I’m calling from X service (e.g., Blue Medicine)


This is:

  • A new consult for Infectious Diseases OR

  • I am calling about a patient that the ID service has seen in the past (include date of last note)


My patient’s:

  • Name is X.

  • Their medical record number is X.

  • My attending is X.


The question(s)* we are asking ID to answer in this consult is/are:

  • Appropriate management of specific infections

  • Antibiotic selection

  • Recommendations regarding further interventions

  • What additional initial steps can we take now to facilitate decision-making (e.g., order an echocardiogram, etc.)

  • Duration of therapy

  • Other:_______________________________________________


Brief background:

  • At least 1 – 2 sentences of about the patient’s history to date.


The level of urgency for this consult:

  • Immediate/ASAP

  • Today

  • Tomorrow’s OK


How ID can provide recommendations back to my team:

  • Please call X number/pager/person back with the recommendations.


*Example questions:

Antibiotic selection for a patient with S. aureus bacteremia and duration of therapy?

What further testing or imaging is recommended for a patient with fever of unknown origin?



  • Esquivel EE, Rendon PA. 10 Questions You Should Consider for Specialist Consultations. The Hospitalist 2016; (3). Click here for online version.

  • Podolsky A, Stern DT, Peccoralo L. The Courteous Consult: A CONSULT Card and Training to Improve Resident Consults. J Grad Med Ed 2015. Click here.

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