Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

The Antimicrobial Use and Resistance in Australia (AURA) Surveillance System: coordinating national data on antimicrobial use and resistance for Australia

John Turnidge , Kathy Meleady

Abstract

Objective: To describe the process of establishment and coordination of a national surveillance system for antimicrobial use and resistance in Australia (AURA). Methods: Existing surveillance programs conducted by health organisations on state or multi-jurisdictional levels were reviewed, and gaps and opportunities identified for the development of a national system. In view of the timeframe available through Australian Government Department of Health funding agreement, the strategy employed by the Commission was to commence work with existing surveillance programs, expanding and enhancing them, and developing new systems where gaps were identified. The data from each of these elements were then analysed, using the specifications of the AURA Surveillance System and reported through AURA 2016: First Australian report on antimicrobial use and resistance in human health. The system provides coverage for the acute and community sectors and for antimicrobial use and resistance. Results: AURA integrates eight streams of surveillance activities, including passive and targeted surveillance of antimicrobial use and resistance from hospitals (public and private) and the community (general practitioners and aged care homes). A gap was identified in timely surveillance of critical antimicrobial resistances (CARs), which resulted in the development of the national CARAlert system. AURA 2016 publishes the first comprehensive analyses of data across the surveillance programs and provides baseline data for future reports to build on. Conclusion: AURA has established the framework and foundation systems for an integrated, comprehensive picture of antimicrobial use and resistance in Australia over time. National coordination and support will improve data collection, standardisation and analysis, and facilitate collaboration across all governments, and the private sector. AURA publications will inform policy development and clinical decision-making, and improve consumer awareness of antimicrobial use and resistance. The system will continue to develop as a comprehensive system, with additional data over time, and appropriate clinical and epidemiological review.

AH16238  Accepted 27 March 2017

© CSIRO 2017