Antimicrobial stewardship in aged care
Antimicrobial stewardship in aged care is important to improve the safe and appropriate use of antimicrobials and decrease the risk of antimicrobial resistance for older people.
Why is aged care a focus area for improved antimicrobial prescribing?
Successive Aged Care National Antimicrobial Prescribing Survey (Aged Care NAPS) reports show that antimicrobials are being used in aged care for conditions where they are not required, such as urinary tract, soft tissue and skin infections. Almost 1 in 6 antimicrobials in the aged care setting are prescribed for use “when required”, which may lead to unnecessarily long treatment duration and increase the risk of antimicrobial resistance. A large number of antimicrobial prescriptions in residential aged care services were for the prevention of infections, which is concerning because antimicrobials should rarely be used to prevent infection in this setting.
There are a number of resources available to support improved antimicrobial prescribing in aged care homes in the care of older people in the community.
- Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission - AMS resources
- NCAS NAPS website to participate in Aged Care NAPS
- NCAS aged care resources
- Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety
- Antimicrobial prescribing in Australian residential aged care facilities – Results of the 2020 Aged Care National Antimicrobial Prescribing Survey | Antimicrobial resistance
- RACGP - Standards for general practice residential aged care