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Digital tool to combat antibiotic resistance piloting across WA


The Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (DHCRC) is uniting healthcare, university and industry to explore how a digital solution can address one of the biggest threats to global health: antimicrobial resistance.

Antimicrobial resistance is considered a top threat by the World Health Organization, with the OECD estimating an average of 290 deaths each year in Australia due to infections from just eight resistant bacteria.

Unchecked, the effects and cost of antimicrobial resistance will continue to increase, causing longer illness durations with harder-to-treat infections and complications.

Related: Australia’s high antibiotic use stokes resistance fears

The collaboration between DHCRC, WA Country Health Service (WACHS), University of Technology Sydney (UTS), and health technology company Kraken Coding will evaluate the antimicrobial stewardship decision support tool, Antimicrobial Pathways (AMPs).

After a successful 2022 pilot study, AMPs is set to be implemented across over 100 sites in Western Australia in late 2023, playing a crucial role in supporting best practice prescribing within the WA healthcare system.

Led by researchers from the Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation (CHERE) and the School of Public Health at UTS, the project will assess AMPs’ impact on various outcomes, focusing on anti-microbial stewardship and the adoption of this innovative digital tool.

Associate Professor Serena Yu from CHERE stated, “This research project aims to provide insights into the potential benefits of digital decision support systems in improving patient care and optimising prescribing practices.”

Developed by Kraken Coding, AMPs is an updated version of the WA Antimicrobial Stewardship decision support tool (WAAMS), first piloted at Geraldton Hospital in 2019. AMPs, based on recommendations from the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care Antimicrobial Stewardship Book, is designed to guide clinicians to specific information for optimal antimicrobial prescribing.

Clinician input refines the tool continuously to identify patient complications before they occur.

Kraken Coding co-founder John Shanks said, “We see a significant opportunity to now roll out this technology to help improve the quality of antimicrobial prescribing, reducing unintentional contributions to antibiotic resistance across the community more broadly.”

DHCRC CEO Annette Schmiede emphasised the project’s uniqueness in aiming to improve antimicrobial stewardship through a novel digital solution, contributing significantly to understanding the potential impact of digital decision support systems on healthcare outcomes.

WA Country Health Service Chief Pharmacist Adam Hort noted the project’s role in building evidence for how technology can address one of today’s biggest health challenges, reframing how we address antimicrobial resistance using the power of technology.

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Ritchelle is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel, Australia’s premier resource of information for healthcare.


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