The app, which will be rolled out nationwide, is a first for Scotland. Known as the Antimicrobial Companion, the app will give practitioners quick and easy access to clinical guidance and will support decision making on antibiotic prescribing, including:
- Dosage calculators for key antibiotic medicines (registered as medical devices with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) as they provide a specific dose for individual patients).
- Antibiotic prescribing guidance for primary care and hospitals which can be customised by each health board.
- A decision aid to support management of urinary tract infections in older people.
- An audit tool to support boards in gathering data for local and Scottish Government targets.
Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria which cause illnesses like pneumonia, urinary tract infections and meningitis change so that they can no longer be effectively treated by antibiotics and is a growing threat to effective patient care. The World Health Organisation has warned of a potential post-antibiotic era in which common infections and minor injuries can kill.
While Scotland has already made significant progress in improving antibiotic use and reducing unnecessary prescriptions for antibiotics, the Scottish Government funded app, developed by the Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group (SAPG) within Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) and NHS Education for Scotland (NES), will give clinicians another tool to ensure that antibiotics are used safely and effectively.