23rd August 2022

According to the World Health Organisation, "antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development". The major cause of resistance is over-use of antibiotics, either because they are available without medical prescription or from over-prescribing. However, a new app, MicroGuide™, aims to make it easier for hospital prescribers to select the appropriate antimicrobial drug, by presenting hospital medicine guidelines in a user-friendly way, as Kordo Saeed, consultant clinical microbiologist at University Hospitals Southampton, explains…

MicroGuide-2 is a randomised controlled trial of the impact of MicroGuide™ computerised decision-support modules on antimicrobial prescribing behaviours and clinical outcomes. MicroGuide™ is a software application for mobile electronic devices and web browsers that facilitates dissemination of local infection treatment guidelines to healthcare staff. Decision-support functionality has recently been developed for the MicroGuide™ app, to convert local treatment algorithms into a more user-friendly format.

Decision-support modules present prescribers with a small number of questions relevant to selecting the most appropriate treatment according to an individual patient’s unique circumstances.  The modules typically include questions about severity of illness, risk of resistance to first-line treatments, penicillin allergy and pregnancy status.

The aim of the MicroGuide-2 trial is to explore whether this type of decision-support offers any added benefits to patients in terms of clinical outcomes and to public health in terms of antimicrobial stewardship.  Acute NHS hospital Trusts already using the MicroGuide™ app will be invited to participate and consenting hospitals will be randomised at hospital level to the intervention (support to create locally-designed decision-support modules for five common infections) or control (usual care with ongoing use of the basic MicroGuide™ app).

Outcome data will be collected from Hospital Episode Statistics and existing drug dispensing and antimicrobial resistance datasets.  The intervention period will continue for 12 months, after which participating sites will continue to have access to decision-support module functionality.

For more information please visit the MicroGuide-2 website

The MicroGuide-2 Study is fully funded by MSD

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