Category: Professional Posters
Purpose: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global public health crisis. Inappropriate antibiotic use is the most common cause. Pharmacists have made strides as antimicrobial stewards in acute care. However, 90% of antibiotics are prescribed in primary care and up to 50% are inappropriate. Demystifying the role of pharmacists as antimicrobial stewards in primary care was identified as a need to increase awareness and impact of pharmacists as the “quarterbacks” of antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) in primary care. This national webinar was developed using case based learning to teach pharmacists how to apply AMS principles and identify opportunities in primary care.
Methods: The webinar was developed and delivered by pharmacist subject matter experts interested in bridging gaps in knowledge regarding the role of pharmacists as antimicrobial stewards in primary care. It consisted of a case-based overview focusing on four domains – education, health promotion and prevention, appropriate independent prescribing and collaboration with prescribers. Several practice tools were reviewed including the role of viral prescription pads, delayed prescribing strategies and use of evidence based shorter courses of therapy for uncomplicated community-acquired infectious diseases. Strategies to leverage pharmacist scope of practice to optimize antimicrobial drug regimens were also reviewed. The pharmacists were asked different knowledge questions at different time periods during the hour. At the end of the webinar, pharmacists were asked (on a scale of 1-5) whether the knowledge gained from the session would allow them to improve care for at least one patient in their practice environments. Pharmacists also rated the webinar on a satisfaction scale of 1-5 and were asked to provide detailed feedback on their learnings.
Results: In total, 293 pharmacists registered for the webinar, 178 attended and 112 responded to the evaluation. The average score of whether pharmacists felt that they were able to improve the care of at least on patient was 4.48 out of a possible 5. The average overall satisfaction score was 4.49 out of a possible 5. Among the learnings that pharmacists reflected on the most were delayed prescribing, use of viral prescription pads , leveraging scopes of practice such as prescribing for minor ailments (e.g uncomplicated urinary tract infection) or amending antimicrobial drug regimens to optimize duration of therapy. Pharmacists indicated that the webinar was extremely useful. They felt that it filled gaps by clearly identifying evidence based stewardship strategies in primary care and how pharmacists could apply those using their knowledge, skills and expanded scopes of practice. The pharmacists felt that the webinar filled gaps in learning by creating an awareness of resources of which many were not aware and they were enthusiastic about the opportunity to access future additional tools to support care in this area.
Conclusion: AMS is a team sport. Pharmacists have the potential to be leaders in this space, particularly in primary care where the majority of antibiotics are prescribed. This national webinar was the first in a series of tools being developed as part of a pharmacist toolbox of resources for AMS in primary care. This first tool accomplished its objectives in creating awareness of specific tools and strategies to be used by pharmacists to make an impact in patient care. As additional tools are developed, we look forward to further evaluating their impact on the care that pharmacists provide.