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What is a PPS?

We have looked at antimicrobial stewardship and have considered the importance of measurement of antibiotic use as part of stewardship activities.

Monitoring quantitative trends in antibiotic use in a ward or hospital is important, but this approach is less appropriate for measuring the quality of antibiotic use.

Remembering the principle that we need to measure to improve, then, the use of PPS enables assessment of the quality of antibiotic use and identification of targets for quality improvement. Electronic prescribing and routine data linkage is not available in most hospitals and so PPS has become a key approach to planning and assessing the impact of antimicrobial stewardship interventions.


A common definition for point prevalence is the amount of people with a particular characteristic at a certain point in time. It is determined by taking the total of the people with the characteristic divided by the total of people in the population of interest.

So a PPS of antibiotic use will measure the number of people taking antibiotics at a given point in time.

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This article is from the free online course:

Challenges in Antibiotic Resistance: Point Prevalence Surveys

The British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy