Optimising antimicrobial stewardship in Australian primary care

Megan Reilly

Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research Issues Brief no: 52
Saha SK, Haddock R
Canberra: Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association; 2023. p. 45.


This issues brief from the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association’s Deeble Institute examines antimicrobial stewardship in primary care. Observing that ‘80% of antibiotics are consumed within primary care’, the notes argue that ‘concept of antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) in primary care will play an important role in improving the appropriate use of antibiotics and reducing the risk of antimicrobial resistance.’ The authors of this issues brief provide a number of recommendations, including:

  1. Models of care to support best practice AMS
  2. GP-community pharmacy practice agreements
  3. AMS training
  4. Collaborative GP-pharmacist prescribing models.
  5. Guidelines to support delayed prescribing strategies.
  6. Point-of-care testing for microbial infection
  7. A digital platform to support AMS in primary care
  8. Program evaluation
  9. Audit and feedback through real-time monitoring for antibiotic prescribing
  10. Clinical decision support tools for antibiotic prescribing
  11. GP-Community pharmacy governance framework for AMS.