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The ultimate team

Having healthcare professionals, who are not infection specialists, on the antibiotic management team to work on stewardship activities is also important.

If you had to decide who was essential (versus desirable) to have on your team, whom would you pick from the following list?

  • Senior Surgeon
  • Consultant Microbiologist and/or an Infectious Disease Physician
  • Chief Nurse / Senior Nurse
  • Physician from a non-infection specialty
  • Epidemiologist/statistician/data handler

A comprehensive programme with communication and collaboration between multiple disciplines is key to the success of antimicrobial stewardship.

The core (essential) members of an antimicrobial stewardship team should include a microbiologist or infectious disease physician and a clinical pharmacist with antibiotic/infectious disease training.

Additional members will help the team function optimally and include:

  • microbiologist or infectious disease physician (depending on which specialty is missing from the core team and the local hospital human resource)
  • information systems specialist
  • infection control professional
  • hospital epidemiologist

Depending on the nature of the antimicrobial stewardship problems within your organisation, and how the team plans to tackle those problems with the resources available, it may be desirable to have other healthcare professionals, such as a general physician and/or surgeon and a senior nurse, on the team.

The program should function under the auspices of an established quality assurance/clinical governance and/or patient safety program and collaborate closely with the hospital infection control and pharmacy/therapeutics committees.

Collaboration and engagement with hospital administrators, medical staff leaders and local providers are also crucial to the success of antimicrobial stewardship. A lack of engagement and poor relationships between the antimicrobial management team and surgeons is clearly seen in the Week 1 scenario video and is likely to have contributed to the subsequent crisis.

In Week 5, the science, role and importance of behaviour-change in antimicrobial stewardship will be considered.

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This article is from the free online course:

Antimicrobial Stewardship: Managing Antibiotic Resistance

University of Dundee