Putting the Pieces Together: A National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Stewardship

Publication Summary

This document provides a roadmap for improving antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) in Canada and lays out a series of 10 areas for a national Action Plan on antimicrobial stewardship. It reflects the broad consensus arising from recent interviews, documents and discussions—and particularly from the June 2016 National Action Roundtable on Antimicrobial Stewardship. This Action Plan focuses on AMS in the human health context, while recognizing the importance of action in agriculture and animal health as part of a “One Health” approach to AMS.

For immediate release

Health Organizations Release Action Plan to address Antimicrobial Stewardship

Jan. 11, 2016 (Ottawa) – HealthCareCAN and the National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCCID) have jointly released Putting the Pieces Together, A National Action Plan For Antimicrobial Stewardship. The Action Plan lays out ten areas in which governments, healthcare organizations and professionals, civil society groups and the public can collaborate to preserve the effectiveness of antimicrobial drugs such as antibiotics. It is built on the work of 50 experts, key influencers and stakeholders in the field of antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) who met at a national roundtable in June 2016.

“This Action Plan is a crucial step towards preserving the effectiveness of antibiotics, and in reducing the threat of AMR. We need to act now before we have lost our ability to fight common infections,” said Bill Tholl, President and CEO of HealthCareCAN.

AMR has been described by the Director-General of the World Health Organization as a “slow moving disaster”. It is viewed globally as one of the most serious threats to human health, with significant human and economic tolls. Since the unnecessary use of antimicrobial drugs contributes to AMR, one of the simplest ways to take action is by promoting the appropriate use of antimicrobials.

The United Kingdom National Institute for Health and Care Excellence defines AMS as an organizational or healthcare system-wide approach to promoting the judicious use of antimicrobials to preserve their future effectiveness. It is one of the three pillars of the Government of Canada’s Federal Framework for Action on AMR, which identifies AMS as conserving the effectiveness of existing treatments through infection prevention and control guidelines, education and awareness, regulations, and oversight.

HealthCareCAN and NCCID co-developed the Action Plan with the support of the Public Health Agency of Canada. Three of the ten areas for action have been identified as the highest priorities for immediate action; improving professional practice, public education and an evaluation protocol to ensure activities are consistently measured for results. A number of specific activities have been identified to support these areas.

“The Action Plan was developed with public health and healthcare stakeholders across the country. It demonstrates the commitment of all involved and our shared vision of how to move forward to ensure appropriate use of antimicrobials”, said Margaret Haworth-Brockman, Senior Program Manager at the NCCID.

Arising from the June 2016 national roundtable, a group of experts from leading health and professional organizations and the Public Health Agency of Canada and Canadian Institutes of Health Research continue to meet to plan next steps in conserving the effectiveness of antimicrobials.

About HealthCareCAN

HealthCareCAN is the national voice of healthcare organizations and hospitals across Canada. We foster informed and continuous, results-oriented discovery and innovation across the continuum of healthcare. We act with others to enhance the health of the people of Canada; to build the capability for high quality care; and to help ensure value for money in publicly financed, healthcare programs.

About the National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases

The National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases specializes in forging connections between those who generate and those who use infectious disease public health knowledge. Working across disciplines, sectors and jurisdictions, NCCID is uniquely situated to facilitate the creation and operation of networks and partnerships. From policy to practice, NCCID is able to build bridges between those with infectious disease questions, those with answers, and those in a position to act on the evidence.

– 30 –

Media contact:
Lucie Boileau
Director of Communications,
Marketing and Government Relations
855-236-0213/613-241-8005 x 205
Cell: 613-462-5604