A social perspective on infection prevention and control and antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) in hospitals

Jennifer Broom1

1 Sunshine Coast University Hospital, Birtinya, QLD 4575

Infection control and antimicrobial use are increasingly subject to audit and accountability measures. This is driven by global environment of the proliferation of multi-resistant organisms which threaten the health of future generations and our global economy. Stewardship is now a regulatory requirement in Australia, yet our inappropriate antibiotic use in hospitals persists. What drives the persistent misuse of antibiotic use, and how might we use insights of human interaction be utilised to enact change? In this talk the focus will be on the social barriers to optimisation (e.g. hierarchy, perception of risk, peer influence, habit and norms, inter professional dynamics, and fear), and an argument is made for collaborative approaches to infection prevention and antibiotic optimisation. When we understand the critical influence of social dynamics, and consider these in our clinical strategies, we can design interventions that may be more effective and sustainable.