Eric Johnson is the medical director of Bozeman Deaconess Wound and Hyperbaric Center. He is a clinical instructor at the University of Washington School of Medicine and past president of the Wilderness Medical Society. Dr. Johnson sat down with us to explain the difference Next Generation DNA Sequencing from MicroGenDX has made for his practice in properly identifying and treating microbial infections.
“I’ve been be doing wound care at a couple of centers really since the middle 2000s,” he told us. “At that time, it was just standard swab culture. The data really didn’t ever seem to match what we were seeing or felt clinically. One needs to go to the next step, and so we obviously went to the Next-Gen Sequencing. Within 24 hours, we typically get a prelim back, and within 72 to 96 hours, I get my Phase 2 back, and it tells us in what direction to go.”
Dr. Johnson described the sense of confidence complete diagnostic information from MicroGenDX has given him in being able to choose the right treatment for his patients. “Now, we can topically use appropriate antibiotics,” he said, “including antifungals, including hitting the anaerobes and aerobes depending on what the Next-Gen Sequencing tell us and we target it beautifully.
“For me, the MicroGen Next-Gen Sequencing or looking for bacterial resistance is just going to be a revolution in some respects, because we’re going to be able to target quicker, better, faster, and again, not sit here and guess, “Well, let’s try this. Oh, they had a resistance.””
The ability to identify microbes according to their DNA has changed the way many physicians view microbial infections and their treatment. As a wound care specialist, Dr. Johnson has been able to see first hand how MicroGenDX is changing the way physicians are able to offer care for their patients. Dr. Johnson told us that he has been talking to other physicians about the positive effect this DNA based diagnostic tool has had on his patients and his practice. “These stories of what’s happening to microbiology versus their traditional culture,” he told us, “is changed dramatically. It already has in wound care, other people are just catching up to that. I presented this at one of the family practice department meetings, and they go like, “How come we’re not using this?” That’s a very fair question. I said, “Why aren’t you using this?””
We asked Dr. Johnson to offer his opinion as to why some practices who are aware of the technology are not presently using it, and like many physicians who use MicroGenDX, he could think of no valid reason to adhere to the use of traditional cultures when Next Generation DNA Sequencing was available as quickly and affordably as it is through MicroGenDX. “In terms of cost versus time versus pain and suffering,” he told us, “and things to patients, it’s well worth it. In our cost value analysis there’s not been at all a loss. It’s been a very positive thing to our patients in our system.
“It confuses me is why people would push back. Is it a financial interest? Is it the hospital won’t move? Is it the fact that they haven’t kept up with the literature?”
We asked Dr. Johnson what he has been told by people who still have not tried MicroGenDX, and he told us, “Some people tell me that a routine culture is a standard of care in wound care, and I will disagree with that statement.”
“In today’s world,” he continued, “I would say, based on all the guidelines out there if you’re not using the PCR probe Next-Gen sequencing, you’re behind the time. Bio-Film is out there. It’s been well identified in the wound care world, and if wound care specialists ignore it, they are just not going to end up with the same outcomes.”
When asked what he would say to physicians who are still using cultures instead of MicroGenDX, Dr. Johnson told us this; “Moving from culture to DNA Next-Gen sequencing is just a natural evolution in terms of resolving your Bio-Film problem and getting patients healed quicker.”
Learn more about Dr. Johnson:
Address: 915 Highland Boulevard, Bozeman, MT 59715
Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital