NHS Scotland has launched Antimicrobial Companion, a new app to help healthcare staff tackle antibiotic resistance. Developed as a result of collaboration between the Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group (SAPG), Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) and NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and funded by the Scottish Government, the app provides:
Dosage calculators for key antibiotic medicines (registered as medical devices with the MHRA, as they provide a specific dose for individual patients).
Antibiotic prescribing guidance for primary care and hospitals which can be customised by each health board.
A decision aid to support management of urinary tract infections in older people.
- An audit tool to support health boards gather data for local and Scottish Government targets.
Professor Dilip Nathwani OBE, Chair of the Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group, said: “Antibiotic use is characterised by waste and variation in practice, leading to harm. One of the key factors influencing better prescribing of antibiotics is the availability of easily accessible practical guidance in the workplace. This app makes it easier for our busy healthcare professionals to do the right and safe thing. Moreover, the availability within the app to evaluate this decision process through an audit component is unique and will further drive better practice. We look forward to hearing of its value and impact from users.”
Professor Stewart Irvine, Medical Director at NES, said: “Antimicrobial resistance is a crucially important topic, and the right decisions by staff today can make the difference between life and death for many people, now and in the future. It’s essential that our workforce have educational tools that help them to apply evidence-based guidance in frontline practice. That’s why we are creating mobile apps like this, to make it easy for staff to access the right information, and do the right thing, at the right time.”
Professor Rose Marie Parr, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for Scotland said: “I welcome the development of this app. The training materials it provides on antimicrobial stewardship for both undergraduate and postgraduate professionals will offer contemporary and ongoing support for the delivery of education on antimicrobial stewardship across all health and care settings.
“This is incredibly important as taking care of antibiotics to ensure we use them correctly so that they remain active for future generations is vital.”
The app was developed by Glasgow-based company, Tactuum, with input from clinicians from hospital and primary care practice in several health boards and can be downloaded free from iTunes and Google Play.