Skip to 0 minutes and 4 secondsWelcome to this course which introduces you to antimicrobial stewardship. The course was first released in September 2015 as an open, online-facilitated course. We are delighted that this course has been hugely successful with over 31,000 learners participating globally. The course has now been redesigned to create this high quality, open, on-demand, but non-facilitated version which you have registered to join. The course begins with the video scenario of an outbreak of a multidrug-resistant infection in the hospital setting to illustrate the need and importance for better antimicrobial prescribing. Each week has been developed by experts in their field who will take you through the steps to help you understand antimicrobial stewardship and how to introduce and implement this in your own clinical area.
Skip to 1 minute and 19 secondsWe hope you find the course interesting, stimulating, useful, and above all, enjoyable. I do hope you continue to support our post course evaluation, which is very important to us.
In this video Professor Dilip Nathwani welcomes you to the course.
As a practicing infectious diseases physician, Professor Nathwani has a key interest in antimicrobial stewardship. He leads a national stewardship programme in Scotland and is recognised as a global leader in this field.
The course has been created in collaboration with The British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, and the University of Dundee.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become a global problem.
Lives lost from AMR: The damaging effects of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) are already manifesting themselves across the world. Antimicrobial-resistant infections currently claim at least 50,000 lives each year across Europe and the US alone, with many hundreds of thousands more dying in other areas of the world.
The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance (2014) by O’Neill summarised the following issues:
AMR a global problem: There is considerable variation globally in the patterns of AMR, with different countries often experiencing a variety of major problems. Despite this and in contrast to some health issues, AMR is a problem that should concern every country irrespective of its level of income.
Treatment options limited: Although in modern, well-funded healthcare systems, obtaining access to second and third-line treatments may often not be an issue, mortality rates for patients with infections caused by resistant bacteria are significantly higher, as are their costs of treatment. We are seeing in parts of Europe an increasing number of patients in intensive care units, haematology units and transplant units who have pan-resistant infections, meaning there is no effective treatment available.
Global consumption up: Global consumption of antibiotics in human medicine rose by nearly 40% between 2000 and 2010, but this figure masks patterns of declining usage in some countries and rapid growth in others.
Overuse and misuse leads to harm: The use of antimicrobials, however appropriate and conservative contribute to the development of resistance but widespread unnecessary and excessive use makes it worse. We need to promote prudent prescribing.
If you’d like to take a closer look at O’Neill’s report follow the link in the See Also section at the bottom of the page.
Who is this course for?
This course is aimed at clinicians and healthcare professionals involved in delivering or planning stewardship programmes, infection prevention and control practices, public healthcare epidemiologists, leaders or policy makers in this area, public partners and anyone who wishes to learn about this discipline.
Antimicrobial stewardship, through a range of evidence based interventions, aims to improve antimicrobial prescribing practice to optimise patient safety and outcomes and reduce harm from resistance, C difficile and toxicity. This online course offers a unique opportunity for healthcare professionals and others to learn about this and support the implementation of this practice. Where possible we would encourage “local teams” to do this course at the same time. This will not only help the development of local communities of practice but allow your learning to be contextualised in your own setting.
Health Education England recommend this course to compliment their level 1 competency e-learning course Reducing Antimicrobial Resistance
So what’s coming up in future weeks?:
Week 2 - This week we will be taking a closer look at what antimicrobial stewardship is, why it is so important and who is involved, and encouraging you to consider how this relates, and can be applied, to your own practice and workplace.
Week 3 - In this week our focus turns to the role of measurement of antibiotic use and how it can support improved prescribing. As we share practical examples you will be encouraged to consider developing an idea to improve prescribing in your area.
Week 4 - This week our attention turns to the role of diagnostics and how they can help address uncertainty when facing clinical decisions thereby helping to support optimal antimicrobial prescribing.
Week 5 - Behaviour change is key to successful antimicrobial stewardship. In this week we consider issues around culture and context and the evidence for its impact on improvement . You will explore how you can apply this evidence to antimicrobial prescribing in your own setting.
Week 6 - The principles of antimicrobial stewardship can be applied to make quick wins. In this week we share two examples from different settings to inspire you to innovate, develop and implement quick wins in your own area.
Learning through this online course is a social activity and we hope you will share and discuss your ideas and comments by using the discussion steps.
We hope you will develop “communities of practice” in your local area and spread good practice about antimicrobial stewardship by starting conversations with your colleagues to stimulate their interest in this important topic.
Your key learning will come from participating in the course activities, sharing your experiences and engaging in discussions with your fellow learners across the globe.
You can then see how much of the course you’ve completed on your progress page.
We value your input and would encourage you to let us know about any suggestions relating to the the course in the comments. For technical problems, please use the grey “Support” icon available at the very bottom right-hand side of any page.
If you are unsure how to use FutureLearn, please follow the link at the bottom of this page.
If you haven’t already completed the pre-course survey please take a couple of minutes to do this now as the information you provide will help us with course development
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