Review antibiotic treatment within 48 hours, DH guidance recommends
Antibiotic treatment for hospital inpatients should be reviewed within 48 hours of being started, and an ongoing management plan documented clearly in the medical notes, according to recently published Department of Health guidance.
“Start smart — then focus” is an antimicrobial stewardship guide for hospitals in England. It details a strategy to reduce healthcare-associated infection rates and slow the development of antimicrobial resistance (see Panel).
Philip Howard, consultant pharmacist for antimicrobials at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, told Clinical Pharmacist that the guidance was developed in consultation with the United Kingdom Clinical Pharmacy Association’s infection management group.
“The guidance contains a range of tools to help organisations deliver the recommendations and audit their antimicrobial practices,” added Mr Howard, who was a member of the guidance development group.
He suggested that the guidance should reduce broad-spectrum antibiotic prescribing and help hospitals meet their statutory obligations, with respect to infection prevention and control.
The guidance also recommends that antibiotic stewardship committees include at least two pharmacists (one managerial and one antimicrobial) and that local prescribing guidelines are updated regularly.
Start smart, then focus
The recommendations outlined in the Department of Health’s guide to antibiotic stewardship for hospitals in England can be divided into two main areas:
Citation: Clinical Pharmacist URI: 11090926
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