AMS programs contain a range of strategies to reduce unnecessary antimicrobial use and promote the use of appropriate antimicrobials in line with prescribing guidelines.
Antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) is a systematic approach by a health service organisation to:
- Promote and optimise appropriate antimicrobial use, and improve patient outcomes
- Reduce and contain antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
- Reduce healthcare costs
Here are 10 tips to effectively set up an AMS program in your institution:
- Ensuring that AMS resides within the organisation’s quality improvement and patient safety governance structure
- Establishing a multidisciplinary AMS team that includes, at least, a lead doctor and pharmacist
- Providing the necessary human, financial and information technology resources for AMS activities
- Ensuring ongoing education and training for prescribers, pharmacists, nurses, midwives and consumers about AMS, antimicrobial resistance and optimal antimicrobial use.
- Implementing clinical guidelines consistent with Therapeutic Guidelines: Antibiotics that take into account local microbiology and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns
- Implementing formulary restriction and approval systems that include restricting broad-spectrum and later-generation antimicrobials to patients in whom their use is clinically justifie
- Reviewing antimicrobial prescribing, with intervention and direct feedback to the prescriber
- Implementing point-of-care interventions (including directed therapy, intravenous to-oral switching and dose optimisation)
- Ensuring that the clinical microbiology service: Provides guidance and support for optimal specimen collection; Targets reporting of clinically meaningful pathogens and their susceptibilities; Uses selective reporting of susceptibility testing results; Generates location-specific antimicrobial susceptibility reports (antibiograms) annually
- Monitoring antimicrobial use and outcomes, and reporting to clinicians and management
The above image is an example of a governance structure for a hospital antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) program a topic Jeannine Loh, Antimicrobial Steward Pharmacist at St Vincent’s Private Hospital will be unpacking in her Case Study on “Implementing systems for the safe & appropriate prescribing & use of antimicrobials” focusing on
- How to execute an AMS program in a private hospital setting
- Prescribing antibiotics informed by AMS to improve prescribing practices in your organisation
- How to utilise limited resources to maximise the impact of an AMS program
- Strategies to shape prescriber culture with AMS
Learn from Jeannine Loh on how to effectively set up an AMS system in your organisation at the 5th Annual Infection Prevention and Control Conference on Tuesday 9th April 2019 in Melbourne.