The use of postal audit and feedback among Irish General Practitioners for the self – management of antimicrobial prescribing

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is widely regarded as a threat to global public health with the overuse of antibiotics being identified as a key driver of AMR. A widely promoted solution to address the inappropriate prescribing and consumption of antibiotics at multiple levels is that of antibiotic stewardship. Antibiotic stewardship has been described as a collective and multidisciplinary approach to improve the prescribing of antibiotics to improve clinical outcomes and to minimise the negative consequences of antibiotic use such as AMR. One methodology employed in antibiotic stewardship programmes is the provision of audit and feedback on prescribing behaviours to healthcare professionals who prescribe antibiotics. In Ireland the majority of antibiotic prescriptions originate in General Practice (GP) / Primary Care settings and in September 2019 the Health Service Executive (HSE) began disseminating feedback to GPs on their antibiotic prescribing for their General Medical Services (GMS), or what are more commonly referred to as medical card, patients.

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