CHP launches Antibiotic Stewardship Programme in Primary Care and updated antibiotic prescription guidelines

Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (November 13) launched the Antibiotic Stewardship Programme (ASP) in Primary Care and the revised edition of the Interhospital Multi-disciplinary Programme on Antimicrobial ChemoTherapy (IMPACT) guidelines as part of its ongoing efforts to implement key measures of the Hong Kong Strategy and Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

     The CHP held the Seminar on ASP in Primary Care and Hospital Settings to support" target="_blank">World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) 2017, which started today. Speaking at the seminar, the Controller of the CHP, Dr Wong Ka-hing, said, "Optimising the use of antimicrobials is one key in controlling the emergence of AMR. Primary care is the first level of care in the whole healthcare system, and family doctors are the main service providers.

They play a pivotal role in tackling the AMR problem, not only by practising rational antibiotics prescription, but also educating and empowering patients on the safe use of antibiotics during clinical encounters.

     "The launch of the ASP in Primary Care and the newly revised IMPACT guidelines provides comprehensive and updated clinical guidelines of infections for healthcare professionals in both the community and hospitals."

ASP in Primary Care

     In consultation with the Advisory Group on Antibiotic Stewardship in Primary Care, evidence-based guidance notes for common infections diagnosed by family doctors, namely acute pharyngitis, acute uncomplicated cystitis in women and simple (uncomplicated) skin and soft tissue infections, have been developed with a view to reducing unnecessary prescription and the emergence of AMR.

     Health education materials including disease information sheets, posters and pamphlets are available to assist doctors in explaining to patients the nature of disease and the importance of compliance with doctors' instructions. The guidance notes and related materials have been uploaded to the CHP's page on" target="_blank">ASP in Primary Care.

     The CHP will continue to work closely with the Advisory Group, which comprises experts from family medicine, microbiology, public health, pharmacology and professional bodies, to formulate guidance notes for other common infections and to arrange education and training sessions for healthcare professionals.

Revised edition of IMPACT guidelines

     Based on local epidemiology and international recommendations, the CHP, in collaboration with public and private hospitals, two universities and the Hong Kong Medical Association, has updated the IMPACT guidelines to make them a more useful reference tool in reinforcing the appropriate use of antimicrobials in hospitals. A new section on tuberculosis has also been added.

     A new website (" target="_blank"> has been launched as a one-stop portal for the IMPACT guidelines, with interactive medical calculators and easy-to-read antibiograms of public and private hospitals to enhance its accessibility for healthcare professionals.

Mobile applications in" target="_blank">iPhone and" target="_blank">Android interfaces have also been updated.

     Both the ASP in Primary Care and the IMPACT guidelines will be regularly reviewed with reference to the latest scientific evidence, local epidemiology of AMR and antibiotic susceptibility profiles.

     The seminar today was attended by over 100 members of the public and private healthcare professionals. Representatives shared their views and experiences in implementing the ASP in the public and private sectors.

     The seminar was part of the publicity activities of WAAW. Highlighting the theme this year, "Seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional before taking antibiotics", Dr Wong appealed to healthcare professionals to refer to the guidelines on the use and choice of antibiotics.

Patients should strictly adhere to doctors' instructions and should not use antibiotics indiscriminately. The public may refer to the" target="_blank">CHP's page for more information.

Published on: 2017-11-13

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