Antimicrobial Stewardship in Residential Aged Care

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has updated their Antimicrobial Stewardship in Australian Health Care (AMS) book with the new addition of Chapter 16 on antimicrobial use and appropriateness of use in the community and in residential aged care.

27 Jul 2021

Some key points from Chapter 16 include:

  • People receiving aged care services have multiple risk factors that may lead to the emergence of antimicrobial resistance.  

  • Antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) is important to reduce antimicrobial resistance and improve infectious disease outcomes.  

  • The most commonly recorded reasons for use of antimicrobials in aged care services are for prophylaxis, or to treat cystitis; skin, soft tissue or mucosal infections; pneumonia; tinea; and non-surgical wound infections.

  • A number of these conditions can be managed without the use of antimicrobials.

The chapter discusses infections experienced by older people, strategies to improve antimicrobial use and consideration of the barriers to implementation of these strategies. Contained within this chapter are practical strategies that can be implemented within aged care services to improve antimicrobial stewardship.

The Australian Aged Care Quality Standards, require providers of aged care services to demonstrate actions to minimise infection-related risks to consumers, the workforce, and the broader community. This includes implementing practices to promote appropriate prescribing and use, to support optimal care and reduce the risk of increasing resistance to antibiotics, and have a clinical governance framework around antimicrobial stewardship.


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