Hospital pharmacists play important roles in antimicrobial stewardship (AMS). AMS programs aim to optimize diagnosis and treatment of patients with infections as well as reduce unnecessary antimicrobial use and unexpected consequences (e.g. toxicity) of antibiotic therapy. There is good evidence that effective AMS programs reduce antimicrobial resistance in community and hospital situations.
The CDC (USA) describes seven core elements of hospital antibiotic stewardship: Leadership Support, Accountability, Pharmacy Expertise, Action, Tracking, Reporting and Education. A prominent role is emphasized for pharmacists- to quote: “infectious diseases-trained (ID) pharmacists are highly effective in implementing AMS efforts and improving antibiotic use”.
In 2022, PRIDA (http://pridanetwork.org ) established a network of expert AMS pharmacists who are available to facilitate AMS training, support and mentoring to Hospital Pharmacists practicing in Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Samoa. Lead by Ms Mieke Hutchison-Kern from Therapeutic Guidelines, from October 2022, these experts have presented a fortnightly series of online tutorials for pharmacists focused on Clinical Pharmacy and Infectious Diseases. Tutorials have commenced again in 2023. To participate, please contact Mieke by email – mhutchinson-kern[at]tg.org.au.
Each hospital location is assigned a lead expert pharmacist mentor and one of two associates. A separate WHATSAPP group for each group is established for day to day communication. It is recommended that a regular short zoom session occurs to enable discussion and planning of local AMS or DTC initiatives.
Mentoring activities will reflect the needs and interests of pharmacists at each location. Mentors can provide clinical education and advice as well as supporting mentees to develop to develop practical strategies to implement AMS activities in settings with limited resources.
The AMS Pharmacist mentor program is a subgroup of the PRIDA AMS Working Group.