What are the issues around AMS in aged care?

Prof Karin Thursky,

MBBS, BSc, FRACP, MD Guidance Clinical Director Director, NHMRC National Centre for Antimicrobial Stewardship RMH at the Doherty Institute, 792 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne


Antimicrobial stewardship promotes optimal antimicrobial use, maximising individual patient outcomes while minimising harm to the wider community.

While AMS is well established in the hospital setting and associated with mandatory requirements for hospital accreditation, there are neither clear requirements nor guidelines for AMS in aged care facilities. The 2015 pilot Aged Care National Antimicrobial Prescribing Survey (AC-NAPS) demonstrated that there were high levels of inadequate documentation, that one-third of antimicrobial courses were prescribed for longer than 6 months (topical and oral), and that many patients did not have microbiology done or met appropriate infection criteria. The survey also highlighted the lack of medication safety oversight in facilities. Results from the 2016 AC-NAPS will be presented as well as the current barriers and facilitators for AMS implementation in the Australian aged care sector.

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