Developing an Antimicrobial Surveillance Network

Developing an Antimicrobial Surveillance Network

Drawing from the experience in the Caribbean and the developments in other countries this latest article focuses on the systems employed to more effectively combat antimicrobial resistance with particular reference to the development and role of an Antimicrobial Surveillance Network. The paper emphasises the need for multidisciplinary collaboration and the particular role of the pharmacist to the management of antimicrobial therapies.

This is the latest in a series of feature articles and explores the important issue of antimicrobial stewardship, particularly focusing on the problem of antimicrobial resistance and the critical role of surveillance to build a clinical intelligence system which, in its application, would offer considerable benefit to patients, health care professionals, and the overall healthcare system. The paper discusses some of the integral features of antimicrobial resistance management programmes – benchmarking, the application of standards, establishing antibiotic policies and the need for multidisciplinary involvement. In this context the article is particularly addressed to pharmacists setting out the ways in which they can apply their technical and clinical skills to offer supportive and robust approaches to the more prudent and effective use of antimicrobial agents. Finally, the author offers eight key elements that are necessary ingredients for an ASN to succeed. The ideas expressed in this paper may be particularly applicable to small island countries similar to the islands of the Caribbean.

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