One of the unique features of ARMADA is to involve primary care providers – family, internal medicine and infectious diseases physicians – directly in assisting with our antimicrobial reconnaissance mission. As the front-line healthcare professionals, you are involved in most antibiotic prescriptions and, thus, are concerned the most the ways in which rising resistance impacts patient care.
We realize that your offices largely collect patient specimens (e.g. urine, feces, sputum, throat swab, wound secretion, etc.) and provide them to diagnostic laboratories, but generally do not have direct access to the bacteria isolated from these specimens. Thus, we would like to request that you partner with ARMADA by providing us an extra sample of the specimen that is already routinely being collected at your office, considering that:
- the collection of an additional specimen, in your professional judgment, does not jeopardize the patient’s well-being;
- the specimen is completely de-identified, i.e. does not include personal patient information and Protected Health Information;
- the suspected pathogen and/or working diagnosis is indicated on the specimen paperwork, and
- the shipment is received in a timely manner and in a condition workable for the laboratory processing by ARMADA staff (pathogen isolation and further testing).
On the ARMADA’s end we will:
- supply pre-coded collection swab tubes for each type of specimen with a submission label;
- include brief protocols describing the specimen collection, storage and shipment instructions,
- provide pre-paid return envelopes/container that are compliant with local and national Hazardous Material Shipping guidelines;
- pay your offices processing fees for each sample shipped to compensate for the effort involved in specimen collection and shipment.
ARMADA’s mission also includes characterization of antibiotic resistant bugs carried by healthy people, with a special interest in enteric, nasal and pharyngeal microflora known to cause opportunistic drug-resistant infections. The primary physician offices are invaluable, but in no way required, to collaborate in this regard too. Solicitation of healthy volunteers may be done by sharing the ARMADA mission among the office visitors no current or recent bacterial infection condition and without a compromised immune defense. Their informed consent to participate in the ARMADA project would be affirmed by signing a provided waiver. The specimens may be safely collected either at the doctor’s office or by the volunteer him-/herself according to provided instructions. In case the physician’s office is interested in such studies, we will supply additional solicitation, waiver and specimen collection materials.
ARMADA’s staff will help all participating physicians to ensure that any work done with ARMADA is in compliance with local and national regulations regarding protection of human subjects. In general, the provision of a routinely collected, de-identified patient specimens without accessing medical records is not considered being a research involving human subjects or is eligible for a human subjects research exemption. Accession of patient medical records or volunteer solicitation, might require provision of a written consent and/or other compliance reviews. For more information you may visit The Office for Human Research Protections site. When needed, ARMADA staff will fully assist physician’s offices in obtaining all required compliance-related information and documentation before any work is started and in a manner that minimizes time involvement of the prospective ARMADA partners.
To initiate discussions of partnering with ARMADA or to obtain any additional information please contact us using the form below. A special representative will be assigned to work with you and address all your possible needs and concerns.