Nationwide prescribing data provides fresh insight into the UK’s antibiotic crisis: Launch of the National Antibiotic Prescribing Dashboard

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Posted on the 14th November 2018

Information from 400 GP practices and 20 million consultations has been analysed and made available in the form of a new digital dashboard.

Developed by Greater Manchester Connected Health City (GM CHC) researchers at The University of Manchester with Public Health England, the National Antibiotic Prescribing Dashboard allows a range of health stakeholders, including policy makers, to better understand the factors that influence the UK’s antibiotic prescribing profile.

The National Antibiotic Prescribing Dashboard data shows that factors such as GP Practice location, time spent with patients and staff shortages impact on the number of antibiotics prescribed.

Data shows that antibiotics are more likely to be prescribed in busy, northern GP practices. The dashboard also reveals that patients considered to be at ‘low risk’ of hospitalisation from infection-related complications are prescribed just as many antibiotics as patients who are at ‘high risk’ of being hospitalised within the next 30 days.

Funded by the Department of Health, the Dashboard has been developed for a range of stakeholders including healthcare providers, academic institutions, CCG’s, and local authorities to better understand the existing antibiotic prescribing landscape and to help meet the Government’s target of reducing the number of inappropriate prescriptions by 50% by 2020.

Accessing the National Antibiotic Prescribing Dashboard

The new dashboard is available to those working in a healthcare, research or government institution.
To access the dashboard, you should:
1) Register for an account here

2) Wait for an email from action@manchester.ac.uk to confirm your account’s approval and click on the link in the email to update your password.

3) Update your password & access the dashboard.

GP Antibiotic Prescribing Dashboard

In addition to the National Antibiotic Prescribing Dashboard (available now), in the coming months a functionality will be added to the dashboard exclusively for GPs and other Primary Care healthcare professionals, to support them in optimising their antibiotic prescribing.

This add-on tool, the GP Antibiotic Prescribing Dashboard, will provide prescribers with the information that they need to compare their own antibiotic prescribing patterns to national and regional prescribing rates. Practices will be able to use the Dashboard as a tool to see whether their patients are considered ‘high-risk- or ‘low-risk’ of developing infection related complications, enabling them to use this data to help make a decision as to whether a prescription is needed (or not.)

To find out more about the GM CHC’s research into antibiotic prescribing and the Antibiotic Prescribing Dashboard, watch this video:

What the research team said about the Antibiotic Prescribing dashboard

Professor Tjeerd van Staa:
“In order to tackle antibiotic resistance, it’s crucial that we gain a better understanding of the key factors that influence antibiotic prescribing and that identify patients at higher risk of developing infection related complications.”

Dr Miguel Belmonte:
“Antibiotic prescribing is influenced by a wide variety of different factors such as number of registered patients and number of general practitioners per practice to deal with volume of consultations. We summarise information contained in electronic health records to aid understanding of the UK’s antibiotic prescribing landscape. Our aim with this dashboard is to feedback actionable information to healthcare professionals in order to optimise antibiotic prescribing and shape future antibiotic policy recommendations.”

Dr Victoria Palin:
“Dashboard users have insight to the antibiotics are being prescribed for common infections, and what proportion of these prescriptions deviate from the recommended guidelines. One feature the dashboard highlights is the enormous prescribing variability for common infections, whilst another feature demonstrates antibiotic prescribing patterns in relation to a patient’s risk of infection related complications. To empower the healthcare sector, the dashboard is ever-evolving and can be tailored to meet the needs of the end user to optimise prescribing.”

Further information on Greater Manchester Connected Health City’s research into antibiotic prescribing is also available on the Greater Manchester Connected Health City website.  

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