New e-learning modules to help fight antibiotic resistance

12 November 2012

During Antibiotic Awareness Week (12 – 18 November), NPS MedicineWise and the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) have launched a series of online e-learning modules designed to help combat antibiotic resistance by encouraging the safe and appropriate use of antibiotics in hospitals.

Aimed particularly at prescribers in their first two years out of medical school, as well as nurse practitioners, hospital pharmacists and university students, the four modules address specific areas where antibiotic use in hospitals needs improvement.

Using a range of common clinical scenarios, the modules guide users through a number of different actions including initial clinical assessment and diagnosis, investigations, interpretation of results and antibiotic selection. Expert advice and feedback is delivered at each step, helping to improve learning outcomes.

The modules, which reflect the format of the World Health Organization’s Guide to Good Prescribing, have been written by some of the authors of the publication Antimicrobial Stewardship in Australian Hospitals1 and are based on the principles described in Therapeutic Guidelines for antibiotics.

ACSQHC CEO, Professor Debora Picone says the increase in antimicrobial resistance is a significant public health issue. The good news, however, is that health professionals and consumers can work together to change the way we use these important medicines and slow down or even reverse much of the damage.

“It’s well known that the misuse or overuse of antibiotics in the hospital setting is one of the key drivers of antibiotic resistance, which is why it’s important we provide health professionals in this environment with ongoing education and support,” says Professor Picone.

NPS MedicineWise Chair Dr Janette Randall says the modules fill a previously unmet need for an online teaching resource on a common curriculum for hospitals and universities.

“These new modules will guide health professionals towards better prescribing of antibiotics, ultimately helping to reduce the development and spread of antibiotic resistance in Australia,” says Dr Randall.

“Online education is fast becoming the preferred mode of learning for busy health professionals and NPS MedicineWise is proud to be delivering high quality e-learning tools in this space.”

The modules have been released as part of the ACSQHC antimicrobial stewardship initiative and a broader 5-year campaign from NPS MedicineWise to tackle the issues associated with antibiotic resistance in the Australian community.

Four free e-learning modules are available:

  • Surgical prophylaxis
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infection
  • Bacteraemia
  • Community acquired pneumonia (available later in November)

To register for the modules, visit

For further information regarding the NPS MedicineWise campaign to fight antibiotic resistance, visit

Information on the ACSQHC Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative is available from

1. Duguid M, Cruickshank M, editors. Antimicrobial Stewardship in Australian Hospitals. Sydney: Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, 2011.


Independent, evidence-based and not-for-profit, NPS MedicineWise enables better decisions about medicines and medical tests. We are funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

Media enquiries: Stephanie Childs on 02 8217 8667, 0419 618 365 or or Erin Jardine on (02) 8217 8733 or