Antimicrobial stewardship (AS) is imperative to help combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in both human and animal health professions by improving antimicrobial use (AU) while effectively treating infections. AS is defined by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) as “the actions veterinarians take individually and as a profession to preserve the effectiveness and availability of antimicrobial drugs through conscientious oversight and responsible medical decision-making while safeguarding animal, public, and environmental health.”
AVMA has identified five core principles of AS in veterinary medicine
- Commit to stewardship
- Advocate for a system of care to prevent common diseases
- Select and use of antimicrobial drugs judiciously
- Evaluate antimicrobial drug use practices
- Educate and build expertise.
A core component of AS is the tracking and reporting of AU and AMR. Data are used to establish baseline measures, guide goal setting, and measure progress. By tracking AU within your facility, you will be able to understand your clinic's prescribing patterns and identify areas for AS initiatives.