Helping healthcare professionals assess the quality of antibiotic prescribing
Our researchers have developed novel analytics dashboards that enable you to utilise electronic health record information to assess antibiotic prescribing, medication safety, and care planning for patients.
The purpose of this initiative is to improve the health of patients and to ensure that services are more connected by making better use of the digital information and technology that already exists in our health care system. Find out more about why we created the dashboard. Participating practices receive access to our advanced dashboards, which are hosted on secure servers in an ISO27001 certified environment. This work is an output from researchers at The University of Manchester working on the Connected Health Cities project, BRIT – Using data to tackle antibiotic resistance.
Why use the dashboard
The dashboard can suggest ways that your practice can improve patient care through a higher quality of antibiotic prescribing.
It compares the prescribing behaviour among different practices against the latest guidelines so you can assess and improve your performance.
It also has a risk calculator tool to give a partial picture of the patient’s risk which the primary care prescriber might consider when deciding to prescribe antibiotics or not.
Compare your practice
Practices using the dashboard will know how many antibiotics they are prescribing compared to similar practices.
The dashboard will provide profiles for low, medium, and high risk patients. These can be used by GPs to improve their prescribing according to the guidelines and to consider patient risk scores in their treatment decisions.
Informed prescribing decisions
The dashboard is an informative tool. Decisions to prescribe are always down to the clinician.
It is meant to provide a partial picture of infection-related complications and the kinds of drugs to prescribe for certain kinds of infections.
The dashboard is based on anonymised information so you will need to use your professional judgment and knowledge of a particular patient when applying the information from the dashboard.
Simple to use
The dashboard is straightforward to use.
Once you get to the homepage it is easy to navigate around to see further details on topics that interest you. You simply scroll and click from view to view.
How to use:
- Once you have logged in, the homepage will show an overview of your practice, its prescribing, and its registered patients.
- By clicking on each graph, the dashboard will take you to another set of graphs.
- This way, you will be a shown a meaningful story about antibiotic prescribing in your practice.
More functionality than the guidelines
The dashboard complements the guidelines to provide a better picture about your practice’s population and risk of infection.
Further information and training
We are writing guidance that will be available on this website soon.
We can provide dashboard training and webinars for you and your colleagues.
If you would like further information please contact us.
There are many reasons why antibiotics are prescribed in general practice, however a lot of the time they affect patient safety, are costly to the NHS and cause wider public health issues.
Data from GP practices across England and Wales from 2000-2015 showed substantial increases in the rate of antibiotic prescribing since 2000. Prescriptions issued rarely reflect the risk of a patient to be hospitalised within 30 days of their GP visit. Patients at high risk are not always prescribed antibiotics, while patients at low risk are frequently prescribed
All these show that GP’s behaviour, in terms of antibiotic prescribing, needs to change.
The dashboard can support this.
Addressing antibiotic resistance
The increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics is a world-wide problem that means these drugs we rely upon may become useless. We need to act now otherwise the number of deaths from minor infections will increase dramatically in the future.
What is antibiotic resistance?
When we take antibiotics some bacteria survive. These bacteria tend to be harder to treat with antibiotics and become more common the more antibiotics are used.
Antibiotic resistance is supported by a large body of scientific literature and public health authorities.
Prescribing based on symptoms and risk
GPs we have interviewed have asked for tools to inform them about their antibiotic prescribing patterns and practice population. Our analysts have used data from electronic health records to indicate when antibiotics should probably be prescribed based on symptoms and patient characteristics.
We use well-established statistical methods on respected national datasets. We have used proportions, boxplots and statistical models including Cox proportional hazards and negative binomial.
We are producing guides about these statistical methods, and will share them on this site when available.
We have found that the number of antibiotics being prescribed across practices isn’t consistent so we would encourage you to use the dashboard to compare your practice’s performance yourself.
Feedback and improvements
We are happy to receive feedback. If you can think of ways to make the information in the dashboard more useful and easier to apply please contact us.
Please ensure that you use the same kind of language you would use when communicating with a patient, and do not include details of particular patients or colleagues.