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Practice guidelines can help clinicians and microbiologists improve the quality and efficiency of health care. Numerous areas are in need of guideline development and development of quality improvement programs. These areas include antibiotic control, duration of antibiotic administration, use of narrowest spectrum, least toxic, lowest cost-effective antibiotic, use of rapid diagnostic tests, management of outpatient intravenous antibiotics, antibiotic prophylaxis for surgery, switching from intravenous to oral antibiotics, antibiotic selection for special situations, diagnosis of
Lyme disease, and several other topics. IDSA, SHEA, CDC, NIH, and other organizations are cooperating to develop these guidelines.