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Doctor portrait pictures imageAntibiotics are precious resources that carry risk when not used properly. With the emergence of antibioticresistant organisms such as MRSA, VRE and C. difficile in the past decade, UHN is seeking to optimize antibiotic usage for its patients with the formation of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program (ASP).

The focus of the ASP at UHN is to assist in providing patients with the best care possible, reduce adverse events, and slow the spread of antibiotic resistance while reducing hospital costs. The ASP will be working with staff to help ensure:

  • Patients are receiving appropriate antibiotics​
  • Patients who do not need antibiotics are not receiving them
  • Patients on antibiotics are appropriately monitored
  • Patients who require intravenous antibiotics on an outpatient basis are appropriately evaluated and monitored — through the ASP's Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy Program (OPAT).

The ASP is working with various staff and committees to further develop guidelines, protocols and pathways for antimicrobial use, with the underlying principle that patient safety comes first.

The OPAT service (part of the ASP) was developed to improve the safety of outpatient antibiotic therapy. Physicians, nurses, and pharmacists can order OPAT consultation services for patients through the Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system as well as the option to request staff training on how to order OPAT consultations. OPAT consultation and hands-on training on how to order OPAT consultation service through EPR are currently available at TGH and TWH only.

Starting April 2010, there will be a dedicated ASP (and OPAT) section on the staff Intranet, which will include the latest news and updates.

The ASP was formed under the leadership of Dr. Conrad Liles (Division Director, Infectious Diseases), Scott McIntaggart (Vice President, Integrated Surgical Services, Critical Care and Transplantation), and Dr. Tom Stewart (Associate Physician-in-Chief). For more information about ASP / OPAT, please contact us at 416 340 4800 ext. 6881.

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