Safety and Quality > National Priorities > Antimicrobial Use and Resistance in Australia Project > National Antimicrobial Utilisation Surveillance Program

The NAUSP focuses on standardised measurement of antimicrobial use in Australian adult public and private hospitals. NAUSP is administered by the Infection Control Service, Communicable Disease Control Branch, at SA Health. Development and implementation of NAUSP have been an ongoing collaboration between SA Health and the Commission as part of AURA since 2013. NAUSP commenced in South Australia in 2001, and collection of data from hospitals in other states and territories commenced in 2004. Participation in NAUSP is voluntary.

Hospitals contribute data to NAUSP on a voluntary basis monthly via a web portal which was activated in 2016. Pharmacists or other appointed personnel  at participating hospitals supply NAUSP with aggregate monthly details of antimicrobials issued to individual inpatients and ward imprest supplies (that is, ward stock managed by the pharmacy) using dispensing reports. Hospital occupancy data are collected in the form of overnight occupied-bed days (OBDs).

NAUSP assigns each contributing hospital a unique code. The code is used to report in a de-identified way on usage rates of selected antimicrobials and therapeutic groups. NAUSP uses standardised usage density rates, based on the World Health Organization (WHO) Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) standards for defined daily doses (DDDs). The denominator is overnight OBDs. Reporting on antimicrobial use based on DDDs enables assessment and comparison of total hospital use as a rate, and also allows international comparisons.

NAUSP annual reports cover total in-hospital antibacterial usage data collected from participating hospitals across Australia. Following enhancements as part of AURA in 2016 and 2017, participating hospitals are able to generate their own reports at any time, and quarterly reports are published on the NAUSP website that provide benchmarking data for hospital peers groups, states and territories and nationally to inform local quality improvement activities. Enhancements to the NAUSP system which commenced in March 2017 enable contributing hospitals to enter specialty unit data and generate reports for those specialities.

For more information about NAUSP, including becoming a contributor, visit the NAUSP website.

Participation in NAUSP assists with local antimicrobial stewardship initiatives, and supports hospitals to demonstrate compliance with National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standard 3: Preventing and Controlling Healthcare Associated Infections. NSQHS Standard 3.14.3 specifies that monitoring of antimicrobial usage and resistance is undertaken in eligible health services.