Background Surveillance of antimicrobial prescribing, in order to control the increase in antimicrobial resistance, is recommended by the Guidelines for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Hospitals in Ireland.
Purpose To determine the profile and activities of antimicrobial management teams (AMTs) in Irish Hospitals by surveying hospital pharmacists.
Materials and methods A self-completion postal questionnaire, which was piloted to test content and validity, was issued to all hospital Pharmacy Departments in Ireland (n = 70, 70% public). Results were analysed using STATA.
Results The response rate was 73% (n = 51, 71% public). 57% (n = 29) of hospitals have an AMT in place with 93% (27) having a Consultant Medical Microbiologist, 24% (n = 7) having a Consultant in Infectious Diseases and 69% (20) having an Antimicrobial Pharmacist.
There is an antimicrobial prescribing policy in place in 88% (45) of hospitals responding. Most policies have empirical treatment guidelines (98%), surgical prophylaxis guidelines (100%) and restricted use guidelines for selected antibiotics (73%).
With regard to adherence, 80% (36) of replies report that the volume of antibiotics prescribed is monitored, 53% (24) conduct audits to measure appropriateness of all antibiotics prescribed and 49% (22) conduct audits of appropriate prescribing of restricted antibiotics.
Conclusions Around half of Irish hospitals do not have an AMT in place but most hospitals have an antimicrobial prescribing policy. Even though Consultants and Pharmacists are represented on most AMTs, audit and feedback of antibiotic prescribing activities is limited. A lack of resources was reported as the main barrier to antimicrobial surveillance by hospital pharmacists.
No conflict of interest.
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