SA project to tackle antibiotic use in aged care

Southern Cross Care is aiming to help improve the use of antibiotics in some of its aged care facilities with a project led by leading pharmacists

Southern Cross has partnered with the Drug and Therapeutics Information Service to implement service enhancements to improve the quality use of antibiotics in three of its South Australian sites; Onkaparinga Lodge, Oaklands Park and Lourdes Valley.

The project, titled SEQUAL (Service Enhancement for the Quality Use of Antibiotics in Long term care) is supported by a federal government Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grant.

This project is led by Debra Rowett, Shalini Simmons and Sue Edwards from DATIS, and Ai Choo Kang and Barry Lowe from Southern Cross Care and a lead nurse at each site.

Last year, the Drug and Therapeutics Information Service was awarded funding to undertake a project to implement an Antimicrobial Stewardship program in a residential aged care facility.

Sue Edwards, Senior Clinical Pharmacist Drug and Therapeutics Information Service at the Repatriation General Hospital and author of this paper on antimicrobial resistance says, “The emergence of antimicrobial resistance means some infections may once again become life threatening.

“Infection with bacteria resistant to antibiotics may increasingly complicate or compromise some surgical procedures and impact immunocompromised patients.

“AMR is an urgent global health priority, with the World Health Organization describing it as a looming crisis. The prevalence of AMR is increasing both in Australia and internationally.”

Previously, antimicrobial stewardship activities largely focused on the hospital sector where they have been shown to decrease inappropriate antimicrobial usage, decrease the incidence of antimicrobial resistance, improve patient outcomes and reduce preventable adverse consequences of antimicrobial use. 

The objective of this project is to implement a program to reduce antimicrobial resistance within the residential aged care setting.

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