A new smartphone app has been developed by the RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) Hospitals Group, in association with the Dublin North East Healthcare-Associated Infection (HCAI) Committee, which will provide healthcare professionals in hospitals within the RCSI Hospitals Group with immediate access to guidelines for antimicrobial prescribing. These guidelines, which vary by individual hospital, will help to ensure appropriate antibiotic prescribing and improved patient outcomes as well as helping to combat the ongoing threat of antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotics or antimicrobials are medicines used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Antibiotics don’t work against infections caused by viruses, such as colds and influenza. Inappropriate prescribing and overuse of such medication has led to a rise in antibiotic resistance both nationally and internationally.

The RCSI Hospitals Group Antimicrobial Guidelines app, available on iPhone and Android platforms, is exclusively available to prescribers in each of the six hospitals in the RCSI Hospitals Group: Beaumont Hospital, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda; Cavan & Monaghan Hospital; Rotunda Hospital; Connolly Hospital; and Louth County Hospital.

Speaking on the launch of the application, the project lead, Dr Eoghan O’Neill (Consultant Microbiologist and Senior RCSI Lecturer at Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown and chairperson of the Dublin North East HCAI Committee) said, ‘The app will give prescribers easy access to each hospitals evidence based guidelines on the appropriate use of antimicrobials, empiric antimicrobial treatment and prophylaxis recommendations by body system for adult and paediatric patients, appropriate antimicrobial dosing information and links to dosing calculators for antibiotics such as gentamicin and vancomycin.’

The app will be available to antibiotic prescribers in each hospital and secure passwords will be sent to each individual from their respective human resources departments.‘We have worked with the award winning software development company, Maithu on this project and we hope that this technology will promote the safe and effective use of antimicrobials for our patients while minimising the emergence of microbial resistance in the wider Irish community’, continued Dr O’Neill.

Mr Bill Maher, CEO of the RCSI Hospitals Group said, ‘RCSI Hospitals is committed to advancing patient care and addressing antibiotic resistance is a big part of this. It is a problem for all hospitals and the spread of resistant bacteria within hospitals is a major issue for patient safety. Antibiotics are a precious medical resource and their appropriate use, which will help to be facilitated by this project, is a vital requirement in delivering safe patient care and addressing the challenge of increasing antibiotic resistance.’

For more information see the Irish Times article

Follow these links through to download the app for iPhone or Android smartphones.