Building a national Infection Intelligence Platform to improve antimicrobial stewardship and drive better patient outcomes – the Scottish Experience

Bennie, Marion and Malcolm, William and Marwick, Charis A and Kavanagh, Kimberley and Sneddon, Jean and Nathwani, Dilip (2018) Building a national Infection Intelligence Platform to improve antimicrobial stewardship and drive better patient outcomes – the Scottish Experience. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. ISSN 0305-7453

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    Abstract

    Background: The better use of new and emerging data streams to understand the epidemiology of infectious disease and to inform and evaluate antimicrobial stewardship improvement programmes is paramount in the global fight against antimicrobial resistance. Objectives: To create a national informatics platform that synergises the wealth of disjointed, infection-related health data, building intelligence capability that allows rapid enquiry, generation of new knowledge and feedback to clinicians and policy makers. Methods: A multi-stakeholder community, led by the Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group, secured government funding to deliver a national program of work centred on three key aspects: technical platform development with record linkage capability across multiple datasets; a proportionate governance approach to enhance responsiveness; generation of new evidence to guide clinical practice. Results: The National Health Service Scotland Infection Intelligence Platform (IIP) is now hosted within the national health data repository to assure resilience and sustainability. New technical solutions include simplified “data views” of complex, linked datasets and embedded statistical programmes to enhance capability. These developments have enabled responsiveness, flexibility and robustness in conducting population-based studies including a focus on intended and unintended effects of antimicrobial stewardship interventions and quantification of infection risk factors and clinical outcomes. Conclusion: We have completed the build and test phase of IIP, overcoming the technical and governance challenges and produced new capability in infection informatics, generating new evidence for improved clinical practice. This provides a foundation for expansion and opportunity for global collaborations.