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Medcast Partners with the University of Wollongong to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance

10 May 2024 - A/Prof Stephen Barnett

As part of our continued success in supporting universities in pursuit of Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) grants, Medcast is thrilled to announce a new collaboration with the University of Wollongong’s Graduate School of Medicine. Led by Professor Andrew Bonney, who has been awarded a $2.7 million MRFF grant, this research initiative aims to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in general practice.

The OPTIMAS-GP Study

The study, titled "Optimal Implementation of Antimicrobial Stewardship in General Practice" (OPTIMAS-GP), focuses on reducing the inappropriate prescription of antibiotics, a key factor in the development of AMR. General practitioners (GPs), often the first point of contact for patients with respiratory infections, play a vital role in this effort. 

GPs are at the frontline of the fight against antimicrobial resistance. There are evidence-based strategies to safely reduce antibiotic use for respiratory infections in general practice; the challenge lies in implementing this evidence in a busy practice setting

Professor Bonney

Professor Bonney’s team, which includes Medcast’s A/Prof Stephen Barnett and researchers from Bond University, Monash University, and the University of Tasmania, aims to enhance GPs' capabilities through the development of an innovative online Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) Toolbox. This tool is designed to support GPs in their consultations with adult patients experiencing acute respiratory infections. 

Role of Medcast

Medcast is poised to make a significant contribution to the OPTIMAS-GP study by leveraging our expertise in online learning for GPs and educational technology. Our role will include:

  • Developing and Hosting Online Educational Content: We will assist in creating and disseminating the educational components of the AMS Toolbox.

  • Supporting the Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT): We will implement two evidence-based online education and audit strategies—one self-paced and the other facilitated—to determine which is more effective at improving GP practices and reducing unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions.

Why This Matters

The threat of AMR cannot be overstated—without effective antibiotics, routine infections could become more dangerous, leading to increased mortality and economic burden. By improving antibiotic prescribing practices, we can significantly reduce the risk of bacteria developing resistance.

We are excited about the potential of this partnership to transform healthcare practice and look forward to sharing updates as the project progresses.

optimas-gp professor andrew bonney

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A/Prof Stephen Barnett
A/Prof Stephen Barnett

Stephen is a GP Supervisor, Medical Educator, GP academic and Medical Director of Medcast. He has completed a PhD on Virtual Communities of Practice in GP Training.

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