Antimicrobial Stewardship project at NCN Health

Project Details

Animicrobial Stewardship (AMS) programs aim to influence clinician behaviour to prescribe antimicrobials appropriately and responsibly and are one of the key strategies to tackle the current worldwide microbial resistance crisis.

NCN Health undertook a research project to explore what helped prescribers to adopt optimal prescribing practices in antimicrobial use. Small research studies are important for identifying areas for improvement in local AMS activities and are a first step in preventing microbial resistance.

Seven Medical Practitioners and thirteen Senior Nurses from NCN Health participated in interviews. All interview participants agreed that an intervention aimed at improving documentation at the point of prescribing and increased accessibility to antimicrobial prescribing guidelines had potential for increasing compliance with optimal prescribing of antimicrobials.

As a result of the project NCN introduced posters in aged care and acute settings to prompt documentation of the rationale for antimicrobial use and provided a reference for recommended antimicrobials for common conditions and the criteria for the definition of an infection.

The research enabled identification of an intervention that is acceptable to and appropriate for Medical Practitioners and nursing staff at NCN Health.


This research was conducted in partnership with NCN Health.

Kaye Ervin, Rural Health Academic Network Coordinator, NCN Health – Cobram Campus

Carol Reid, Rural Health Academic Network Coordinator, NCN Health – Numurkah Campus

Ka Chun Tse, Rural Director of Medical Services, NCN Health, Yarrawonga and Rochester & Elmore District Health Services

Elizabeth Smith, Infection Control Nurse, NCN Health


This research acknowledges the Australian Government Department of Health for funding under the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training Program.

Research Outcomes

Further details of the study be found at:

Ervin, K., Tse, K.C., Reid, C., Smith, E. (2020). Exploring barriers to and enablers of antimicrobial stewardship in rural health services. Infection, Disease & Health.

Ervin, K., Tse, K.C., Reid, C., Smith, E. (2020). Audio poster - National antibiotic awareness week webinar series (18-24th Nov).

Research Group

Rural Health Academic Network (RHAN)

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Rural Health

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