• A collaboration between University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Edinburgh and Triscribe Ltd. 
  • Project to visualise and increase understanding of antimicrobial prescribing and support antimicrobial stewardship initiatives.
  • Will develop novel analytics that will enable antibiotic prescribing to be evaluated and tracked by linking diagnosis, outcomes and resistance for individual and cohorts of patients. 
  • Running from February 2018 to April 2019.

Increasing antimicrobial resistance is a global health challenge. There is a perception that poor prescribing practices contribute to the problem. However, there are limited data to confirm this. Reliable data on the quality of antimicrobial prescribing in the UK are not available, with hospital drug purchasing data most often used as a proxy measure.

Reporting complete and consistent data about the prescribing and administration of antimicrobials is vital for quality improvement interventions to reduce antimicrobial resistance, but this is a major challenge for hospitals, particularly those that have not implemented ePrescribing. Even in hospitals that have ePrescribing, data analytics are not always available.

The current national CQUIN (Commissioning for Quality and Innovation) framework includes the goal of reducing antibiotic consumption and optimising prescribing practice by reducing the indiscriminate or inappropriate use of antibiotics.

This project by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust will involve developing analytics to enable antimicrobial prescribing to be linked to diagnosis, outcomes and resistance for individual and cohorts of patients. This will identify areas for improvement and enable understanding of the clinical impact of the changes to antibiotic prescribing provoked by the CQUIN targets, as well as national shortages of critical antibiotics.  

The project will involve: creating an antibiotic prescribing database, linked to patient acuity measures, and laboratory, imaging and clinical outcome data; cleaning and processing these linked data; describing antibiotic variations by prescriber/speciality; and creating a dashboard to visualise individual patient clinical status and standardise analytical outputs.

Data from the Trust’s ePrescribing database over at least two years will be analysed using software from Triscribe Ltd. The results will be used to provide other hospitals with standard reports and benchmarking information.

Two Trust analysts will be trained in data-intensive analytical techniques, and support will be provided by the University of Edinburgh’s Usher Institute of Population Health Science and Informatics.

Contact information

For more information about this project, please contact Andy Fox, Deputy Chief Pharmacist, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.

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