Int J Pharm Pract. 2021 Feb 10;29(1):70-77. doi: 10.1093/ijpp/riaa011.
OBJECTIVES: Antimicrobial resistance is a worldwide public health issue that requires emergent action. Antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) have been proposed as a strategy to minimise resistance. Although ASPs were implemented in governmental hospitals in Qatar since 2015, a formal evaluation of these programs has not been conducted. We aimed to assess the status of ASPs in Qatar and to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges (SWOC) to further enhance ASPs within Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).
METHODS: Lead stakeholders of ASPs in HMC filled a questionnaire adapted from the 2019 Centers for Disease Control Prevention checklist for ASPs. Notes were taken by research team to assist in formulating a SWOC analysis.
KEY FINDINGS: All hospitals (12/12) had an infectious diseases physician and pharmacist designated as an ASP leader (major strength identified). Almost all hospitals lack a financial statement and information technology resources to support ASPs (major weaknesses identified). Nine hospitals had an antibiotic pre-authorisation policy and adopted a prospective audit with feedback strategy. Among hospitals surveyed, 11 hospitals tracked antibiotic use by measuring the defined daily dose, and only four hospitals tracked rates of Clostridioides difficile infection. Qatar's rich economy supports the allocation of financial resources and budgeting to improve ASPs despite the increased emergence of resistant organisms and the limited resources currently available to expand ASPs across the country's healthcare settings.
CONCLUSIONS: Although ASPs were implemented in all governmental hospitals in Qatar, national efforts and more resources are needed to further develop and improve these programs.