Antimicrobial stewardship programs in community health systems perceived by physicians and pharmacists: A qualitative study with gap analysis

Sohyun Park, Ji Eun Kang, Hee Jung Choi, Chung Jong Kim, Eun Kyoung Chung, Sun Ah Kim, Sandy Jeong Rhie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) is one of the most important strategies for managing infectious disease treatment and preventing antimicrobial resistance. The successful implementation of ASP in the community health system (CHS) has been challenging. We evaluated perceptions of current ASP, potential setbacks of ASP implementation, and future demands on ASP services among physicians and pharmacists in the CHS. The qualitative research was conducted through in-depth individual interviews and focus group discussions with 11 physicians and 11 pharmacists. In addition, a quantitative gap analysis was conducted to assess the different awareness and demands on services of ASP and preferred antimicrobial-related problems (ARP). In overall, perceptions of ASP varied by profession. The identified setbacks were unorganized institutional leadership, the undefined roles of healthcare professionals, a lack of reimbursement, the hierarchical structure of the health system, and the labor-intensive working environment of pharmacy services. Although demands for ASP improvement were similar among professionals, they had different preferences in prioritizing each service item of ASP/ARP development and the profession responsible for each service. Continuous administrative and financial investments, understanding ASP contents, ASP-specific information technology, and interdisciplinary collaboration with good communication among healthcare professions are needed to continue the progression of ASP.

Original languageEnglish
Article number252
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

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© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Tarticle distributed under the terms and conditions of the Cre.


  • Antimicrobial stewardship program
  • Community health system
  • Interdisciplinary team
  • Pharmacist


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