In 2008, Oak Valley Health took a proactive approach to managing the use of antimicrobials by launching its Antimicrobial Stewardship Program (ASP). An antimicrobial is a drug that kills micro-organisms. Antibiotics, which kill bacteria, are one example of an antimicrobial.
About Our Antimicrobial Stewardship Program
The ASP team now assesses the therapy of patients throughout the organization on a daily basis. We are spearheaded by an infectious diseases specialist and several pharmacists with additional training in the use of antimicrobials. Their recommendations may include altering how the drug is given, the antimicrobial spectrum of activity (i.e., which pathogens the drug covers), how long the drug is given, or discontinuing the drug altogether.
We want the spectrum of activity to be as narrow as possible to reduce the risk of developing antimicrobial resistance.
Our ASP team has also implemented a number of guidelines and policies to promote rational use of antimicrobials. These include a pharmacist-led intravenous (IV) to oral conversion strategy (a policy on how to change from IV treatment to oral medications). They have also created guidelines for surgical prophylaxis (use of antibiotics to prevent infections during surgery), and urinary tract infection treatment.
The Goal: Reduce Antimicrobial-Related Complications
The team’s ultimate goal is to prevent antimicrobial-related complications, such as the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and Clostridium difficile infection, and to reduce costs. The team has developed a ‘culture of respect and trust’ within Oak Valley Health. By routinely meeting with medical staff to discuss and evaluate the program, they promote the importance of stewardship and open communication. Staff address challenges and create solutions together to strengthen the ASP. For more information, see our Antimicrobial Stewardship Profile on the Ontario Public Health website.
In 2018, the Oak Valley Health ASP team launched the Spectrum app for desktop and mobile devices. The app features Oak Valley Health-specific treatment guidelines for infections, local antibiograms (reports on how susceptible certain bacteria are to specific antibiotics), antimicrobial dosing, beta-lactam allergy assessment (assessing allergies to a class of drug called beta-lactam; penicillin is one example of this class of drug), and much more! The content was developed by the ASP team and the app is free to download; visit www.spectrum.md.
For Health Care Professionals
Please find below links to antibiograms for Markham Stouffville Hospital and Uxbridge Hospital. These are summaries of antimicrobial susceptibilities of bacterial isolates compiled on an annual basis. Antimicrobial susceptibility is a determination of which antibiotics a specific bacteria is vulnerable to.
Reported antimicrobial susceptibilities are combined from all infectious sources (i.e., blood, urine, surgical site, etc.) from inpatient samples and according to the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) guidelines.
Antibiograms provide information to guide choice of empiric therapy (treatment based on professional experience). They are also used to track bacterial resistance patterns.
Below please find links to compiled antibiograms from 2006 to the current year (where available):