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Infection prevention and control guidelines

1. Principles

Antimicrobial stewardship to reduce opportunities for antimicrobial resistance

      1. Antimicrobial stewardship to reduce opportunities for antimicrobial resistance

Last revised: 18 Aug 2023

Antimicrobial stewardship to reduce opportunity for antimicrobial resistance

Resistance to antimicrobials is commonly found in Australian healthcare facilities and the community. Unnecessary or inappropriate use of antimicrobials is an important cause of antimicrobial resistance.

Appropriate antimicrobial use involves prescribing according to evidence-based guidelines, selecting drug choice, indication, dose and duration to optimise clinical outcomes and minimise adverse consequences (including antimicrobial resistance, toxicity and unnecessary costs). High rates of inappropriate prescribing have been identified in Australian general practices.1

Infection prevention and control measures such as hand hygiene assist in reducing emergence of antimicrobial resistance, along with targeted measures such as following prescribing guidelines. Practices could consider participating in education and audit-and-feedback programs on appropriate antibiotic prescribing.

Antimicrobial stewardship involves collaboration between general practices, pharmacists and other clinicians.2

NPS MedicineWise collates expert recommendations on antibiotic choices for a range of conditions.