An update on the National Antimicrobial Utilisation Surveillance Program (NAUSP)

Vicki McNeil1

1SA Health, Infection Control Service, CDC Branch, PO Box 6, Rundle Mall, SA 5000,

The National Antimicrobial Utilisation Surveillance Program (NAUSP) commenced in 2004 with 35 member hospitals, the majority from South Australia. The Program has expanded and now over 200 hospitals from all states and territories use NAUSP data to assist their antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) activities. Many changes have occurred since NAUSP’s inception to improve users’ access to their hospital’s data in a timely manner, and to increase the range of antimicrobials for which data are collected.

In 2016 a secure online portal was developed whereby contributors could upload antimicrobial usage data and extract reports within a period of days instead of months. A greatly expanded range of self-generated analyses were available for NAUSP users using Rate Calculation functionality, including benchmarking against an expanded range of comparators.

A further upgrade to the Program was made in 2017 with the introduction of the ability to load and report data for specialty practice areas. Standardised reports were developed to show specialty use compared to total-hospital use, and specialty use compared with other hospitals’ specialty use.

From January 2019, NAUSP expanded surveillance scope to include topical formulations and non-absorbed antimicrobials. This will assist tracking possible overuse of these antimicrobials at local, state and national levels.

NAUSP now has significant data holdings on volume of antimicrobial use in Australian hospitals. With increased functionality of reporting, hospitals can use a range of data to identify, implement and monitor targeted AMS interventions. NAUSP will continue to expand the scope of surveillance to create a robust and complementary resource to strengthen improvements the quality of antimicrobial prescribing in Australian hospitals.

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