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What is antimicrobial stewardship (AMS)?

This article introduces antimicrobial stewardship and the benefits of a good AMS programme.
Word cloud of words relating to Antimicrobial stewardship and resistance
© BSAC

Antimicrobial stewardship is a key strategy to overcome resistance by the careful and responsible management of antimicrobial use.

It consists of coordinated interventions designed to improve and measure the appropriate use of antibiotic agents by promoting the selection of the optimal antibiotic regimen including dosing, duration and route of administration.

Effective AMS aims to ensure antimicrobials are used appropriately – using the Right Agent, at the Right Dose, at the Right Time, for the Right Duration [Middle East course has good explanation of this?]. These aims exist in order to achieve the following: cure/prevent infection, prevent emergence of resistance, and reduce healthcare costs overall.

The Advantages of Good Stewardship – Reduces pressure to develop resistance (improvement in rates of antibiotic susceptibilities to targeted antibiotics) – New drugs on formulary – Decreases restrictions on use – Allows life-saving medication to be used first line – Reduces inappropriate use – Reduces adverse effects (AEs) (e.g. Clostridium difficile infection) – Often, decreases overall healthcare expenses – Improve patient outcomes – Optimises healthcare resource usage

To gain a more in-depth understanding of Antimicrobial Stewardship, the FutureLearn course [Antimicrobial Stewardship: Managing Antibiotic Resistance] provides more detail on the subject.

© BSAC
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Introduction to Practical Microbiology

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