How Can National Antimicrobial Stewardship Interventions in Primary Care Be Improved? A Stakeholder Consultation.
Borek AJ., Wanat M., Sallis A., Ashiru-Oredope D., Atkins L., Beech E., Hopkins S., Jones L., McNulty C., Shaw K., Taborn E., Butler C., Chadborn T., Tonkin-Crine S.
Many antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) interventions have been implemented in England, facilitating decreases in antibiotic prescribing. Nevertheless, there is substantial variation in antibiotic prescribing across England and some healthcare organizations remain high prescribers of antibiotics. This study aimed to identify ways to improve AMS interventions to further optimize antibiotic prescribing in primary care in England. Stakeholders representing different primary care settings were invited to, and 15 participated in, a focus group or telephone interview to identify ways to improve existing AMS interventions. Forty-five intervention suggestions were generated and 31 were prioritized for inclusion in an online survey. Fifteen stakeholders completed the survey appraising each proposed intervention using the pre-defined APEASE (i.e., Affordability, Practicability, Effectiveness, Acceptability, Safety, and Equity) criteria. The highest-rated nine interventions were prioritized as most promising and feasible, including: quality improvement, multidisciplinary peer learning, appointing AMS leads, auditing individual-level prescribing, developing tools for prescribing audits, improving inductions for new prescribers, ensuring consistent local approaches to antibiotic prescribing, providing online AMS training to all patient-facing staff, and increasing staff time available for AMS work with standardizing AMS-related roles. These prioritized interventions could be incorporated into existing national interventions or developed as stand-alone interventions to help further optimize antibiotic prescribing in primary care in England.