Sci Rep. 2021 Jul 16;11(1):14621. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-94308-z.
We described the significance of systematic monitoring nationwide antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) in primary care. All the prescriptions given by family physicians were recorded in Prescription Information System established by the Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency of Ministry of Health. We calculated, for each prescription, "antibiotics amount" as number of boxes times number of items per box for medicines that belong to antiinfectives for systemic use (i.e., J01 block in the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System). We compared the antibiotics amount before (2015) and after (2016) the extensive training programs for the family physicians. We included 266,389,209 prescriptions from state-operated family healthcare units (FHUs) between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2016. These prescriptions were given by 26,313 individual family physicians in 22,518 FHUs for 50,713,181 individual patients. At least one antimicrobial was given in 37,024,232 (28.31%) prescriptions in 2015 and 36,154,684 (26.66%) prescriptions in 2016. The most common diagnosis was "acute upper respiratory infections (AURI)" (i.e., J00-J06 block in the 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems) with 28.05%. The average antibiotics amount over prescriptions with AURI decreased in 79 out of 81 provinces, and overall rate of decrease in average antibiotics amount was 8.33%, where 28 and 53 provinces experienced decreases (range is between 28.63% and -3.05%) above and below this value, respectively. In the most successful province, the highest decrease in average amount of "other beta-lactam antibacterials" per prescription for AURI was 49.63% in January. Computational analyses on a big data set collected from a nationwide healthcare system brought a significant contribution in improving ASPs.