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Benchmarking Antimicrobial (AM) Usage

In this video Neil Powell discusses a case study using the benchmarking of antimicrobial usage, across veterinary practices in Cornwall.

In this video Neil Powell discusses a case study using the benchmarking of antimicrobial usage, across veterinary practices in Cornwall.

Benchmarking has been hugely valuable in human medical practice in identifying high prescribing hospitals and practices so that they are aware of the problem and can start to find ways to reduce this. Before this study, no antimicrobial usage data existed in veterinary practice across Cornwall.

In a meeting with all the local vets across Cornwall, the idea for data collection on antimicrobial usage to be used in benchmarking was discussed. It was put forward that this would be useful to identify any variation between practices, to see if they were in line with national data and to have the chance to reflect on the protocols in their own practices. Dairy cattle were chosen to collect data on, as this is the largest sector in Cornwall.

An image of some cows in a field.

Benchmarking Antimicrobial Usage – Challenges

There was a lot of enthusiasm from the vets initially to provide data, however there were concerns around confidentiality and how long it would take. Confidentiality, as it turned out, was not an issue in practice. Some vets said data extraction was quick and easy, some used their practice managers to do it and some said it was too onerous and they were unable to provide data. Out of the 8 practices that pledged to provide data, 4 of them did so.

One was a significant outlier to the others; so they were able to go away, reflect and come up with an action plan.

The plan to collect second year data was unfortunately not forthcoming and there are currently ongoing discussions around why this wasn’t as successful. Do you have any ideas of your own, or things that have worked in your own practices, of ways of overcoming these barriers?

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Antimicrobial Stewardship in Veterinary Practice

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