Key messages for hospital infectious disease specialists

Tasks

1. Your tasks related to improving antibiotic use include [31,56,68,71,83]:

a) Participating in the antibiotic stewardship team, as a key member of the team;

b) Collaborating with the hospital pharmacist and the clinical microbiologist to implement the antibiotic stewardship programme;

c) Consulting with hospital prescribers and providing them with feedback to ensure the quality of antibiotic prescribing;

d) Educating hospital prescribers on how to diagnose and treat common infections, and on the antibiotic stewardship principles;

e) Implementing evidence-based hospital antibiotic guidelines for common infections and for surgical prophylaxis;

f) Sharing information on local microbiology and antibiotic resistance patterns; and,

g) Managing your hospital’s antibiotic formulary (i.e., list of drugs available for prescribers). 

Things you can do, or collaborate on

2. Support the development and implementation of an antibiotic stewardship programme within your organisation [69].

3. Promote local guidelines on managing infections and using antibiotics. These should be readily and reliably accessible to all healthcare providers [56,69].

4. Check that antibiotic prescriptions follow antibiotic treatment protocols, based on evidence-based guidelines. If you see staff members at the hospital or healthcare setting who breach guidelines or protocols, ask them why they are doing so and provide them with tools to understand what they are doing wrong [69] [expert consensus].

5. Provide feedback and advice to prescribers on diagnostic evaluation and treatment of infectious diseases [83].

6. Regularly train hospital prescribers on prudent antibiotic use and participate in meetings on implementing evidence-based hospital antibiotic guidelines [31,53].