The Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy vol:65 issue:3 pages:576-580
OBJECTIVES: Antibiotic management teams (AMTs) have been advocated to optimize the use of antimicrobials in hospitals. Since 2002, the Belgian Antibiotic Policy Coordination Committee (BAPCOC) has supported the development of AMTs in Belgian hospitals with policy guidance and federal funding for antibiotic managers. We performed a national, self-reporting survey to assess the level of AMT activities in 2007. METHODS: A structured questionnaire survey was performed on the composition, organization and service activities of the AMT in all acute care and larger chronic care hospitals in the country in 2007. Descriptive statistics were stratified by duration of AMT funding. RESULTS: Completed questionnaires were provided by 112 of 116 hospitals (response rate, 96.6%). Mutidisciplinary AMTs varied in size (mean 10, range 2-28 members). Antibiotic stewardship tools used by AMTs included: hospital antibiotic formulary (96.3% of hospitals); practice guidelines for antibiotic therapy and surgical prophylaxis (91.6% and 96.3%, respectively); list of 'restricted' antimicrobial agents (75.9%); concurrent review of antibiotic therapies (64.2%); de-escalation of therapy after a few days (63.9%); sequential intravenous/oral therapy for antibiotics with equivalent bioavailability (78.7%); dedicated antimicrobial order forms (36.1%); automatic stop of delivery (43.5%); analysis of antibiotic consumption data (96.2%); and analysis of microbial resistance data (89.8%). CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate a well-developed structure of AMTs in Belgian hospitals and the broad range of services provided. Technical and financial support by healthcare authorities was key to the extensive implementation of antimicrobial stewardship programmes across the national hospital care system.