, Volume 20, Issue 9, pp 22-26
Date: 30 Aug 2012

Do antimicrobial control programmes have a positive effect on patient outcomes?

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A variety of antimicrobial control programmes are currently used in healthcare institutions. Whilst antimicrobial control programmes possibly result in a reduction in antimicrobial resistance and cost savings, the impact of these programmes on clinical outcomes has not been well documented. Studies that have collected clinical outcome data have reported few significant improvements in mortality or resolution of infection. However, none of the studies have shown antimicrobial control programmes to compromise patient outcomes. Further research is needed to more clearly define the impact of antimicrobial control programmes on clinical outcome.

Control programmes are often used

Antimicrobial control programmes in institutions such as hospitals have become increasingly common over the past two decades.[1] The programmes usually consist of a variety of measures that may be grouped into seven major categories (table I). Although the impetus for these programmes may be primarily cost containment