The WA Country Health Service is a key player in a new push to reduce antimicrobial resistance, which will urge doctors to ensure they only prescribe antibiotics where necessary.
Following a successful pilot study carried out in 2022, the program known as Antimicrobial Pathways is set to be implemented across more than 100 sites across the state by the end of this year – playing a crucial role in supporting best practice prescribing within the WA healthcare system.
Antimicrobial resistance is considered one of the top threats to global health by the World Health Organization. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has estimated that an average of 290 people die each year in Australia due to infections from just eight resistant bacteria.
The OECD said that left unchecked, the effects and cost of antimicrobial resistance will only continue to increase. More people will become unwell for a longer amount of time with infections and complications that become harder to treat.
The collaboration between The Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre, WACHS, University of Technology Sydney and health technology company Kraken Coding will evaluate an antimicrobial stewardship decision support tool, known as Antimicrobial Pathways (AMPs).
Led by researchers from the Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation and the School of Public Health at UTS, the project will assess the impact of AMPs on various outcomes, focusing on anti-microbial stewardship and the adoption of this innovative digital tool.
“By measuring the effectiveness and utilisation of AMPs and exploring how prescribers use it in practice, this research project aims to provide insights into the potential benefits of digital decision support systems in improving patient care and optimising prescribing practices,” CHERE’s Associate Professor Serena Yu said.
Developed by Kraken Coding, AMPs is an updated version of an open-sourced web-based application, known as the WA Antimicrobial Stewardship decision support tool (WAAMS), first piloted at Geraldton Hospital in 2019.
AMPs was built based on recommendations from the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care Antimicrobial Stewardship Book and is designed to point clinicians to the specific information they need for optimal prescribing of antimicrobials.
John Shanks, co-founder of Kraken Coding, highlighted that the information logged by clinicians is used to continuously refine the tool to identify complications for patients before they occur.
“The pilot of WAAMS delivered on its intended outcomes by showing an increase in the appropriateness of antimicrobial prescribing in-line with the Australian Therapeutic Guidelines,” he said.
“We see significant opportunity to now roll out this technology to help improve the quality of antimicrobial prescribing, and reduce unintentional contributions to antibiotic resistance, across the community more broadly.”
DHCRC CEO Annette Schmiede said the project was unique in its goal to improve antimicrobial stewardship by using a novel digital solution.
“The DHCRC is committed to looking at how digital and data can help solve some of the most pressing healthcare challenges facing us today,” Ms Schmiede said.
“The evaluation of the Antimicrobial Pathways tool will contribute significantly to our understanding of the potential impact of digital decision support systems on improving antimicrobial stewardship and ultimately reducing antimicrobial resistance and improving healthcare outcomes.”
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.