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.
- Antimicrobial stewardship program
- Community health system
- Interdisciplinary team