Canadian National Antimicrobial Prescribing Survey: A Pilot Initiative

Mar 19, 2019

March 19, 2019 - The Sinai Health System-University Health Network Antimicrobial Stewardship Program (SHS-UHN ASP), in collaboration with BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), the National Centre for Antimicrobial Stewardship (NCAS), the Guidance Group, and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is undertaking a pilot initiative in Canadian Hospitals to better understand how antimicrobials are prescribed in Canada.  


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a serious and growing global health threat. The loss of effective antimicrobials is reducing our ability to protect Canadians from infectious diseases, with profound impacts on our health care system, global trade, agriculture, environment and health sectors. One of the components of an effective AMR response is Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS). AMS is one of four components of the Pan-Canadian Framework for Action on Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial Use (AMU). AMS includes coordinated interventions designed to promote, improve, monitor, and evaluate the judicious use of antimicrobials. In Canada, however, we have limited data on antimicrobial prescribing patterns, including indications for use and appropriateness. This information is critical for developing and implementing a range of actions to optimize the use of antimicrobials, both for an individual's health, and to reduce the development of AMR at the population level.

Project Description

Late last summer 2018, the National Antimicrobial Prescribing Survey (NAPS) initiative recruited approximately 40 Canadian hospitals from provinces across the country. The pilot uses the Australian NAPS to help gain an understanding of how antimicrobials are prescribed in Canada. Beginning with acute care facilities, where the current infrastructure best lends itself to such a survey, this initiative will be a key catalyst to a national response to AMR, specifically as it relates to AMU. We hope successful implementation of this project will lead to opportunities for expansion to all hospitals, and other health care settings (including long-term care, primary care, and veterinary medicine).

The main objectives of the Canadian NAPS Initiative are to:

  1. Provide a tool to assist hospitals of any size and complexity to audit antimicrobial prescribing and facilitate local quality improvement initiatives
  2. Provide a national estimate of antimicrobial prescribing behaviour, including:
    • prevalence of antimicrobial use
    • appropriateness of antimicrobial prescribing
  3. Assist in identifying targets for antimicrobial stewardship interventions

The National Antimicrobial Prescribing Survey (NAPS) tool was developed in Australia, and has been used since 2011 to audit antimicrobial prescribing practices within Australian health care facilities. This survey tool provides a suite of web-based standardized data collection tools, allowing participating hospitals to audit antimicrobial prescribing within their facility and to receive facility/ward-specific reports, in addition to national benchmarking data. Hospitals have 24/7 access to their own data, which they can export for further analysis.

For further information, or if interested in participating in this initiative, please contact Yoshiko Nakamachi (, Sinai Health System-University Health Network Antimicrobial Stewardship Program (SHS-UHN ASP).    

About BD

BD is one of the largest global medical technology companies in the world and is advancing the world of health by improving medical discovery, diagnostics and the delivery of care. The company supports the heroes on the frontlines of health care by developing innovative technology, services and solutions that help advance both clinical therapy for patients and clinical process for health care providers. BD and its 65,000 employees have a passion and commitment to help enhance the safety and efficiency of clinicians' care delivery process, enable laboratory scientists to accurately detect disease and advance researchers' capabilities to develop the next generation of diagnostics and therapeutics. BD has a presence in virtually every country and partners with organizations around the world to address some of the most challenging global health issues. By working in close collaboration with customers, BD can help enhance outcomes, lower costs, increase efficiencies, improve safety and expand access to health care.

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Nadia Santoli

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Please note, products and services mentioned may not be licensed/available in Canada. Please check with your local BD representative.

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