Rural and Remote AMS – Supporting the appropriate use of antibiotics in Queensland

Michelle Doidge 1

1 CNC Queensland Statewide Antimicrobial Stewardship Program, Queenlsand Health, Kelvin Grove, QLD, Australia


INTRODUCTION: Antimicrobial resistance poses a serious threat to healthcare worldwide. Australia is not exempt from this threat and is taking serious action to address the overuse of antimicrobials
Queensland’s diverse healthcare requirements over a massive landscape create challenges for the delivery of specialised healthcare programs. Rural facilities do not have access to consistent specialist advice on antimicrobials prescribing like the larger city hospitals.
The Queensland Statewide Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) Program has been established to support these facilities. The scope of the program is to optimise prescription, dispensing and administration of antimicrobials in all Queensland Health inpatient facilities. A focus is on regional, rural and remote facilities, in particular those without resident infectious diseases specialists or clinical microbiologists

METHODS: A multidisciplinary team (medical, nursing, pharmacy) was established in May 2016 to develop a program of resources and support with a primary focus on rural facilities in Queensland. The initial phase is concentrated on visiting rural facilities across Queensland to listen to the unique challenges faced in implementing an AMS program. A pilot visit to Barcaldine and Longreach Hospital was undertaken in May 2016.

RESULTS: Early identification areas of priority for the Statewide AMS Program include a consumer engagement focus, providing rural context to the TG, use of telehealth for AMS rounds and education, assistance with monitoring of and feedback regarding appropriate antimicrobial use.

CONCLUSION: Through collaboration with rural facilities, the Queensland Statewide AMS Program can tailor support and resources to provide relevant and practical solutions to antimicrobial challenges in rural facilities.

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