As Antibiotic Awareness Week draws to a close, pharmacists are reminded to stop and reflect on their antimicrobial stewardship
With healthcare practitioners reflecting on safe use of antibiotics over the past week, pharmacists should be particularly cognisant of the wise use of antimicrobials in residential aged care facilities (RACFs), says Managing Director of Webstercare Gerard Stevens.
It is incumbent on pharmacists to play a significant role in curbing antibiotic resistance, especially in RACFs, says Mr Stevens.
“There is a high infection burden among RACF populations due to the health status of frail, elderly residents and so it’s not surprising that antibiotics are among the most common medications prescribed,” he says.
“Facilities with a high antimicrobial use have an increased risk of antimicrobial-resistant infection so, as pharmacists, we need to play our role to help ensure appropriate prescribing.”
The 2017 Aged Care National Antimicrobial Prescribing Survey (acNAPS), by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, found more than half (55%) of antimicrobial prescriptions were for aged care residents with no signs or symptoms of infection in the week prior to the start date.
The survey also identified high rates of inappropriate antimicrobial use, with UTIs the most common reason for prescribing antimicrobial for aged care residents.
“Urinary tract infections are common conditions in RACFs and have been identified as a significant cause of inappropriate antibiotics prescribing,” explains Mr Stevens.
“With this in mind, NPS MedicinesWise approached us to work collaboratively to develop a tool that could highlight such prescribing patterns and trigger corrective responses. The Webstercare/NPS MedicinesWise Antibiotics report was created from this collaboration,” he says.
The Webstercare/NPS Medicinewise collaborative report, ‘Antibiotics for Urinary Tract Infections’ allows pharmacists to rate their antimicrobial stewardship.
Pharmacies that operate with Webstercare’s Medication Management Software can analyse resident medication data to help identify patterns of antibiotic use and help prevent antimicrobial resistance.
The RACF Medicinewise report provides:
- objective measurements to guide appropriate use of antibiotics for UTIs;
- quick and easy access to detailed clinical information;
- comparison of antimicrobial use to comparator data; and
- lists residents who may benefit from a review of their medicines.