Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) – the reduced effective response of microorganisms to antimicrobials – is a major global public health threat. Without effective interventions, estimates suggest that, by 2050, as many as 10.2 million people will die every year due to antimicrobial resistant infections, 90 percent of which are expected to burden Asia and Africa.1 Though the causes of AMR are complex and multisectoral, inappropriate use of antimicrobials is one of the major drivers of widespread AMR.
To address this problem, health systems around the globe have implemented antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs), defined as a bundled set of interventions managing the judicious use of antimicrobials. Hospital-based ASPs are shown to improve antibiotic use, while also reducing treatment cost, hospital length of stay and AMR, without compromising clinical patient outcomes. However, there is little consensus on a globally applicable essential checklist for ASP design, implementation and assessment.