Optimising antimicrobial prescription in hospitals by introducing an antimicrobial stewardship programme in Hong Kong: consensus statement

Hong Kong Med J. 2006 Apr;12(2):141-8.


Objective: To discuss the implementation of an 'antimicrobial stewardship programme' as a means to improve the quality of antimicrobial use in a hospital setting in Hong Kong.

Participants: Consensus working group on 'antimicrobial stewardship programme', The Scientific Committee on Infection Control, Centre for Health Protection, Department of Health, comprised 11 experts. The remit of the working group was to discuss the rationale and requirement for optimising antimicrobial prescriptions in hospitals by the introduction of an 'antimicrobial stewardship programme'.

Evidence: PubMed articles, national and international guidelines, and abstracts of international meetings published between January 2000 and December 2004 on programmes for improving the use of antimicrobials in hospitals. Only English medical literature was reviewed.

Consensus process: Data search was performed independently by three members of the working group. They met on three occasions before the meeting to discuss all collected articles. A final draft was circulated to the working group before a meeting on 3 January 2005. Five commonly asked questions about an 'antimicrobial stewardship programme' were selected for discussion by the participants. Published information on the rationale, components, outcome measures, advantages, and disadvantages of the programme was reviewed. Recent unpublished data from local studies of an 'antimicrobial stewardship programme' were also discussed. The timing, potential problems, and practical issues involved in the implementation of an 'antimicrobial stewardship programme' in Hong Kong were then considered. The consensus statement was circulated to and approved by all participants.

Conclusion: The continuous indiscriminate and excessive use of antimicrobial agents promotes the emergence of antibiotic-resistant organisms. Antimicrobial resistance substantially raises already-rising health care costs and increases patient morbidity and mortality. Pattern of prescriptions in hospitals can be improved through the implementation of an 'antimicrobial stewardship programme'. A 'universal' and 'continuous' 'antimicrobial stewardship programme' should now be established in Hong Kong hospitals.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Resistance
  • Drug Utilization / standards*
  • Drug Utilization Review / organization & administration*
  • Guideline Adherence / organization & administration*
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / organization & administration
  • Infection Control / standards*
  • Pharmacy Service, Hospital / standards*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Program Development
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care


  • Anti-Infective Agents