Background: To support antibiotic prescribing for both hospital and community-based health professionals working in remote North Western Australia, a multidisciplinary Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) Committee was established in 2013. This Committee is usually focused on hospital-based prescribing. A troubling increase in sulfamethoxazole/ trimethoprim resistance in Staphylococcus aureus antibiograms from 9 to 18% over 1 year prompted a shift in gaze to community prescribing.

What we did: Finding a paucity of relevant research, we first investigated contextual factors influencing local prescribing. We also designed a systematic survey of experts with experience relevant to our setting using a structured response survey (12 questions) to better understand specific AMS risks. Using these findings, recommendations were formulated for the AMS Committee.

What we learned: Prescribing recommendations in a regional Skin Infections Protocol had previously been altered in December 2014. From 15 experts, we received 9 comprehensive responses (60%) about AMS risks in community prescribing. If feasible, pre-scribing audits also would have been valuable. Ten recommendations regarding specific antibiotic recommendations were submitted to the AMS Committee.

Strengthening AMS in remote settings: As AMS Committees in Australia usually focus on hospital-based prescribing, novel methods such as external expert opinion could inform delib-erations about community-based prescribing. Our approach meant that this AMS Committee was able to intervene in the 2017 organizational review of the regional Skin Infections Protocol used by prescribers likely unaware of AMS risks. This experience demonstrates the value of incorporating AMS principles in community-based prescribing in context of a remote setting.


antimicrobial stewardship, community-based prescribing, remote indigenous health, impetigo, Streptococcus pyogenes


Copyright © 2017 Oliver, Cush and Ward. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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