Appropriate Antimicrobial Use: Scaling Surveillance Using Digital Health

A group of researchers from the Doherty Institute, the Peter Macallum Cancer Centre, the University of Melbourne, and RMIT University has received a Research Data Infrastructure MRFF grant ($2,962,654.00) to develop and implement digital health solutions for surveillance of the quality of antimicrobial use in healthcare.

The emergence of the global health challenge of antimicrobial resistance has highlighted a need to promote the safe and judicious use of antimicrobial medications, which is one of the pillars of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy in Australia.

A foundational requirement for antimicrobial stewardship programs in Australia is the ability to monitor the appropriateness of antimicrobial use. This is needed across the healthcare system, including in hospitals, primary care, aged care and animal health settings.

The Appropriate Antimicrobial Use: Scaling Surveillance Using Digital Health project will bring together a multidisciplinary team of antimicrobial stewardship experts from human and animal health with digital health experts to establish a new research platform for surveillance of antimicrobial use across health settings.

University of Melbourne Professor Karin Thursky, director of the National Centre for Antimicrobial Stewardship at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity and director of the Guidance Group at the Royal Melbourne Hospital will lead this project. Prof. Thursky, who is an infectious diseases physician and health services researcher, has played a leading role in developing local and national antimicrobial stewardship initiatives, focusing particularly on the use of digital health technologies.

Professor Thursky says this project will provide an exciting opportunity to collaborate with digital health experts and data scientists to use novel data science methods to facilitate the automated surveillance of antimicrobial prescribing in hospitals, primary care and veterinary practices.