Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard

Antimicrobial resistance poses a significant threat to public health because antimicrobials underpin so much of routine clinical practice. The Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard supports quality improvement by health services and clinicians to help reduce antimicrobial resistance.

Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard (2020)

The Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) Clinical Care Standard provides guidance to clinicians and health service managers on delivering appropriate care when prescribing antimicrobials. It was first published in 2014 and was updated in 2020 following a review of current evidence and consultation with clinical experts and key organisations. 

The AMS Clinical Care Standard includes eight quality statements and a set of indicators for safe and appropriate care.

Webinar videos for health professionals

A webinar to promote the launch of the 2020 AMS Clinical Care Standard and answer questions about the revisions to the standard, and its implementation, was conducted in collaboration with The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia in November 2020. 

Key speakers were Dr Kathryn Daveson and Professor John Turnidge, and the event was facilitated by Fiona Doukas and Kylee Hayward. 

The webinar included a full Q & A session and covered issues such as changes in the 2020 AMS Clinical Care Standard, allergy delabelling and AMS, and transition for assessment to the NSQHS Standards.

View the webinar

Quality statements in the 2020 Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard

Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard (2020) resources

You can download the Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard, clinician fact sheet, consumer guide, Accreditation Advisory and indicator monitoring tool in full from the following links:

Consultation and endorsement

The standard has been endorsed by 25 key professional organisations and colleges including the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA), the Australian Society of Antimicrobials and the Therapeutic Guidelines Ltd. 

Background

Infections are caused by organisms called microbes, such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. Medicines used to treat infections are called antimicrobials, and destroy the specific microbes involved. However, when microbes develop ways to prevent the antimicrobial medicine from effectively killing or controlling their growth, that medicine is no longer effective for that infection. This is called antimicrobial resistance.1

Although antimicrobial resistance is a natural feature of microbial evolution, the inappropriate use of antimicrobials has increased the development of antimicrobial-resistant microbes in hospitals, other healthcare facilities and in the community.1,2,3

To help prevent the development of antimicrobial resistance, it is important that healthcare professionals prescribe and administer antimicrobials according to the principles of AMS. 

Assessment to the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards

The 2014 AMS Clinical Care Standard resources have been superseded by the 2020 Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard. From 1 January 2022, health service organisations being assessed against the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards, specifically Action 3.18, will be assessed in relation to the 2020 version of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard.

The advisory AS21/02: Advice on implementing the 2020 Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard clarifies the requirements for the transition between the 2014 and the 2020 Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standards.