Objectives: This study aimed to identify the status of antimicrobial stewardship programmes (ASPs) in small to medium-sized Korean hospitals as well as the awareness and demands about ASPs of physicians. Methods: A questionnaire was designed based on a questionnaire from a previous nationwide survey in 2018 targeting large hospitals in Korea and modified to reflect the results of in-depth interviews with non-infectious diseases (IDs) physicians at secondary care hospitals. The survey targeted all hospitals with ≥150 beds in South Korea and was performed in May–June 2020. Only one ASP-associated physician per hospital participated in the survey. Results: The survey response rate was 31.9% (217/680). ID specialists comprised the majority of medical personnel participating in ASPs in tertiary care hospitals. Conversely, in secondary and primary care hospitals there was no predominant medical personnel for ASPs and the median full-time equivalent was 0 for all types of medical personnel. Tertiary care hospitals, more than secondary and primary care hospitals, tended to perform ASP activities more actively. ‘Workforce for ASPs’, ‘Establishment of healthcare fees for ASPs’ and ‘Development of tools for ASPs’ were the most important required support for ASP improvement. Conclusion: The level of ASP establishment was more limited in primary care hospitals than in secondary and tertiary care hospitals in Korea. To improve ASPs in Korean hospitals, a supporting workforce and the establishment of a healthcare fee for ASPs appear to be necessary.
- Infectious diseases