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Antivirals 

Antivirals
Chapter:
Antivirals
DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198729228.003.0004
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date: 17 November 2019

Antimicrobial stewardship programmes (ASPs) are a coordinated set of interventions designed to monitor and direct antimicrobial use in health-care institutions, providing a standard evidence-based approach to judicious antimicrobial use. Thus, ASPs ensure that every patient gets the right antibiotic only when needed, by the right route, at the right dose, and for the right duration. There are different ASP models, such as ‘formulary restriction with pre-authorization’ or ‘prospective audit with feedback’, according to the core strategy by which they seek to affect antimicrobial use. Many key stakeholders are needed to sustain an ASP, including clinical pharmacists, microbiology laboratory, infectious diseases physicians, information service specialists, prescribers, and hospital administration. Paediatric populations harbour unique challenges for ASPs. Adoption of ASPs in children’s hospitals has accelerated over the past few years as a means to limit antimicrobial resistance and improve quality of care. ASPs should be viewed as an extension of existing patient safety initiatives, as their existence exemplifies ‘first do no harm’.

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