Antimicrobial stewardship in aged care

Aged care is an important area of focus for the Commission in its support of improved antimicrobial stewardship in the community. The objective of this work is to support the care of older people in health and aged care settings; to improve the safe and appropriate use of antimicrobials; and, to decrease the risk of antimicrobial resistance across the community in Australia.

Why is aged care a focus area for improved prescribing?

Prescribing antimicrobials for residents in aged care services is an important area for improvement. Older people may be immunocompromised; more likely to get infections; susceptible to infection spread; and, may have regular hospital admissions.

The Aged Care National Antimicrobial Prescribing Survey (AC NAPS) reports, developed as part of the AURA Surveillance System, have indicated persistent inappropriate use of antimicrobials. In addition, Australian Passive AMR Surveillance (APAS), which is also part of the AURA Surveillance System shows that aged care homes experience high rates of multidrug-resistant infections e.g. Escherichia coli. There are a number of resources available to support aged care homes, and those involved in the care of older people, that can support improved antimicrobial prescribing. 

Useful Commission resources:

Fact sheet or brochure

Useful external resources:

Other resources: