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To determine what antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) practices exist in New Zealand public hospitals. A quantitative survey based on recommended components of hospital AMS programmes was sent to the 20 DHBs in June 2016. Ten of the 20 DHBs had an AMS committee, nine had dedicated AMS pharmacist full-time equivalents (FTEs) and eight had lead clinician FTEs. Only one DHB met FTE recommendations for AMS pharmacists and two for clinicians (0.3 and 0.1 FTEs per 100 acute beds, respectively). All DHBs had conducted at least one antimicrobial audit in the preceding 12 months, most had their own antimicrobial guidelines (19/20) and prescribing policies (18/20), and 12 reported on antimicrobial usage by at least one metric (eg, defined daily doses). Staff education on AMS had been given at most DHBs in the previous year, but only three reported having AMS ward rounds. All DHBs had surveillance programmes for resistant organisms and most produced antibiograms (16/20). All reported barriers to implementation of an AMS programme. Hospital AMS programmes are in their infancy in New Zealand, with wide variation in practices seen. National co-ordination is required to assist DHBs in developing effective programmes to improve antimicrobial use.


Sharon J Gardiner, Jane A Pryer, Eamon J Duffy. Survey of antimicrobial stewardship practices in public hospitals in New Zealand district health boards. The New Zealand medical journal. 2017 Jul 07;130(1458):27-41

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PMID: 28694537

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