Medicines management strategies to improve antibiotic prescribing

  • Harpal Dhillon

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


A systematic review was conducted to explicitly identify interventions that alone, or in combination, were effective in improving antibiotic prescribing. The citation search strategy used in the present review provided a database of 365077 studies, of which only twenty-five were included in the final review (“review studies”). Analysis of the interventions used within the review studies indicated that a combination of “guidelines” and “pharmacy” interventions have the greatest potential to improve antibiotic prescribing. Two types of qualitative research were conducted, semi-structured interviews and the collection of naturally occurring data. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in order to determine NHS managers? perceptions of current policies used to improve antibiotic prescribing within selected Primary Care Trusts and highlighted the importance of pharmacy intervention, formularies or guidelines and improved prescribing analysis (IT based intervention) on improving antibiotic prescribing. This was supported by the collection of naturally occurring data, which was used to provide further insight into interventions used to improve antibiotic prescribing. The Specialist Antibiotic Pharmacist (HD) produced and implemented an innovative electronic antibiotic prescribing analysis tool (the Antibiotic Database) to analyse and improve antibiotic prescribing in a consistent manner. The key advantage of the Antibiotic Database was the time and money saved on producing visual electronic outputs containing an inaccurate outcome measure or time period for analysis. The results concluded that an IT based intervention, such as the Antibiotic Database should be used, in addition to the use of antibiotic guidelines and pharmacy intervention, within all sectors of the NHS in order to improve antibiotic prescribing and its analysis.
Date of Award2 Mar 2012
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJohn F Marriott (Supervisor)


  • antibiotics
  • control
  • antibiotic database
  • systematic review

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