Why is antimicrobial stewardship important?

Antimicrobials include antibiotics active against bacteria, as well as anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-parasitic medicines. Inappropriate use of antimicrobials can lead to increases in drug resistance, side effects and treatment costs. An effective approach in hospitals is an organised antimicrobial management program, known as antimicrobial stewardship (AMS).

What is Cabrini doing to enhance antimicrobial stewardship (AMS)?

At Cabrini, AMS is facilitated by a multidisciplinary team, which includes two Infectious Diseases Physicians, a senior Clinical Pharmacist and a senior Microbiology scientist. This ‘Cabrini Antimicrobial Prescribing Support’ (CAPS) team works collaboratively with doctors, nursing staff and pharmacists to promote and support safe, appropriate antimicrobial prescribing and use consistent with national and local clinical guidelines.

Specifically Cabrini is concentrating on:

  • Education for medical, nursing and pharmacy teams
  • Supporting use of prescribing guidelines
  • Making patient/client information available
  • Participating in annual World Antibiotic Awareness Week in November
  • National benchmarking activities for antimicrobial usage and prescribing

What can you do?

It is important for healthcare workers, patients, carers and the community to be well-informed about appropriate antimicrobial use, as we all have a part to play. If you would like to learn more please visit the following sites:

1. Clinical Care Standards Antimicrobial Stewardship Consumer Fact Sheet

2. World Health Organization Antibiotic resistance fact sheet

3. Do I really need antibiotics?

4. NPS MedicineWise - Antibiotic resistance: the facts