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Skip to 0 minutes and 5 secondsWelcome to week four. On behalf of Jose and Benedict, this is an important part of our MOOC and it deals with emerging strategies with particular emphasis on the role of diagnostics. As a clinician, we will all appreciate the critical role of diagnostic uncertainty, which will often lead to inappropriate or overuse of prescribing. In a culture, how we manage the uncertainty of a diagnosis will be covered in week five. I hope that this very important and sometimes challenging part of our MOOC is of value to you and is of interest to you. It will explore the role of existing as well as new diagnostic strategies in managing this diagnostic uncertainty. I really hope you enjoy it and you find it valuable.

Welcome to Week 4

In this video Professor Nathwani welcomes you to Week 4 on behalf of our lead educators for this week Dr Paño and Dr Huttner. He goes on to explain the importance of this week’s learning.

Optimal antimicrobial use requires that prescribers obtain and integrate relevant clinical, laboratory, microbiological and pharmacological data in the antimicrobial prescribing decision process.

Uncertainty when facing clinical decisions is one of the most relevant barriers to optimal antimicrobial prescribing. Novel strategies that reduce diagnostic uncertainty and may facilitate individualised therapy are therefore urgently needed.

The focus this week is on certain novel and emerging key strategies that assist prescribers to obtain and integrate useful information in order to minimise uncertainty. While all of the strategies presented in this week are promising, they also face significant obstacles.

We will discuss etiological (causative) diagnosis, the role of biomarkers, Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) optimisation and computerised decision support in assisting antimicrobial stewardship.

After completing this week’s activities, you will be able to:

  • Understand the usefulness, limitations and applicability of causative diagnosis, biomarkers, PK/PD principles and computerised decision support as key strategies to improve antimicrobial use.
  • Understand the difficulties to implement these strategies in the hospital setting, and the need to carefully plan their implementation
  • Begin to integrate these strategies when prescribing antimicrobials.


We hope that you are participating in the course activities, sharing your experiences and engaging in discussions with your fellow learners from across the globe. This is a key part of the learning.

Furthermore, if you complete at least 50% of the steps in this course and every test question, you will be eligible to purchase a Statement of Participation. To ensure your learning is recorded for this, make sure that as you finish each step you click the ‘Mark as Complete’ button. You can then see how much of the course you’ve completed on your progress page.

There is also an opportunity to take a formal exam (optional) on completion of this six-week course. If you pass the exam you will be receive a Statement of Attainment showing your exam score.

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This video is from the free online course:

Antimicrobial Stewardship: Managing Antibiotic Resistance

University of Dundee