Using Data Sources at the Country Level to Track Antibiotic Use and Inform Action

Posted On: June 3, 2019

Tracking how healthcare providers prescribe antibiotics to treat their patients is a critical step to understand how antibiotics are used. With this information, experts can identify targets for interventions to improve use. Improving the way we prescribe and use antibiotics, a concept referred to as “antibiotic stewardship,” can protect patients from harm and combat antibiotic resistance. However, there are many strategies and different data sources for tracking and collecting data on antibiotic use. To address this, TATFAR created a resource for countries to reference to assess the different types of antibiotic use data that may be used to inform antibiotic stewardship efforts.

Download: Using Available Country-level Data Sources to Track Antibiotic Use [PDF – 10 pages] to find examples of data sources to quantify antibiotic use in healthcare settings.

This new resource falls under TATFAR’s Actions and Recommendations, Key Area I: Appropriate Therapeutic Use in Human and Veterinary Medicine (Action 1.1: Guidance for Assessing Appropriate Use). The Action 1.1 working group, led by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drafted a working document in July 2017. The group incorporated feedback from TATFAR members—experts in the field—and the revised document was shared at the in-person TATFAR meeting in March 2018. Additional suggestions were incorporated and shared again with TATFAR members. In early 2019, TATFAR officially finalized the resource, making it available for reference on the TATFAR website’s Links and Resources webpage (see Reports and Publications section).

Everyone can help improve antibiotic prescribing and use. Improving the way healthcare professionals prescribe antibiotics, and the way we take antibiotics, helps keep us healthy now, helps fight antibiotic resistance, and ensures that these lifesaving antibiotics will be available for future generations. Antibiotic prescribing data can be used for action in any healthcare setting. We believe this resource will help inform action, protect patients, and combat antibiotic resistance.