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About the registry
Antibiotics are essential to treat many conditions in both humans and animals. But they must be used carefully, to ensure they are effective when patients and people really need them. If not used responsibly, antibiotics lead to dangerous side effects, delay an accurate diagnosis, and contribute to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Inappropriate disposal of unused antibiotics also damages the environment, impacting water quality and wildlife.
Antimicrobial resistance is one of the biggest global health issues of our time. We must act, together.
RCVS Knowledge’s free Antimicrobial Audit Tool provides an opportunity to address this by gathering data, to improve our ability to evaluate the benefits of particular treatments and prescribing behaviours, resulting in improved patient welfare and antibiotic efficiency. We will be able to identify patient-related factors which may influence the outcome and help guide treatment decision-making. It relies on information reported by you, and by your clients.
The Audit Tool is open to ALL veterinary practices in the United Kingdom treating equines.
This project has been granted ethical approval by the RCVS Ethics Review Panel on 30/03/23.
Do you work for a practice that is already taking part? Access the portal here.
How it works
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
The Antimicrobial Audit Tool relies on the involvement of both veterinary teams and animal owners to contribute their information to build an evidence-base around antimicrobial use and treatment outcomes. This page provides veterinary teams with information about how the project is run and how we handle your data.
This page is also available in printable format. Download them here.
What is the RCVS Knowledge Antimicrobial Audit?
Antimicrobial resistance is a major threat to animal and human health. It is essential that the veterinary sector prescribes antimicrobials responsibly to preserve their efficacy and maintain animal health and welfare. The antimicrobial audit supports veterinary practices to review their antimicrobial usage, to ensure that use is as much as necessary and as little as possible.
RCVS Knowledge runs a national audit using an online Antimicrobial Auditing Tool (the Tool). Veterinary teams and animal owners input data to the Tool. Uploaded data can then be easily used and reported on by relevant people within your veterinary team. Your practice can review and evaluate whether your antimicrobial prescribing behaviour is in line with recommended practice, and how it impacts your clients and patients. Teams can form action plans to guide their antimicrobial prescription decision-making and ensure that their antimicrobial stewardship efforts are driven by evidence at the point of care.
What does the Antimicrobial Audit Tool involve?
The audit uses specialist software which is available free of charge to all equine and companion animal veterinary practitioners for collecting data relating to the prescribing of antimicrobials to UK equine and companion animal patients. The Tool has the facility to collect two different data sets to support clinical auditing:
Consultation data which enables benchmarking of antimicrobial use against an anonymised aggregated data sample
Owner-reported outcomes data which allows owners to share information via the Tool to contribute details pre and post-consultation to allow practitioners to explore cause and effect in more detail.
How does a practice submit the consultation data to support the benchmarking feature?
Veterinary practices can sign up to submit antimicrobial prescription data from companion animal and equine consultations. Data can be submitted through a number of different data flow routes with further details outlined below:
- Manual data entry
- Data can be entered using manual data entry directly into the Tool.
- Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet
- Download the Spreadsheet provided:
- Complete the data fields in the spreadsheet with consultation records from your practice. We will only capture information relating to the species (dog, cat, rabbit, horse), any antimicrobials prescribed and if possible, the main presenting condition (this may be ‘unknown’).
- To be consistent, it is important that these data come from booked consultations, where an owner has made an appointment to see a veterinary surgeon. Please do not send any data from other data entry events such as telephone calls, reception sales or inpatients, or any other. It is also important not to include any additional personal data relating to the consultations.
- Uploading a Practice Management report
- Run a sales report on your Practice Management System, highlighting the practice name and postcode, date, species, animal ID, product code, item description, and quantity sold and export to a .CSV or Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet. This can be uploaded onto the Amplitude platform.
- Direct data flow from your Practice Management system if on Eclipse or VetIT.
If you use one of the listed Practice Management Systems then please contact Amplitude Clinical Outcomes and we can provide a direct data flow from your practice management system: [email protected], or RCVS Knowledge: [email protected]
How does a practice engage with the owner-reported outcomes?
Once a practice has signed up to the audit there is an opportunity to invite owners to engage. When an owner contacts the practice to arrange a consultation for their dog, cat, rabbit or horse, you should invite them to take part. You can provide the owner with the Owner Information Sheet and information on how to consent to signing up to the audit.
The owner will provide their informed consent when they register online through the audit website.
How does it benefit me and my practice?
Owner feedback and automatic personalised reporting capabilities will enable practitioners to create evidence-based action plans surrounding their antimicrobial prescription decision-making, which can be implemented and tested rapidly to ensure effective improvements in responsible use of antimicrobials.
The benchmarking facility will enable practitioners to compare antimicrobial use across different branch practice sites or to compare one veterinary site with an anonymised aggregated average across national veterinary practices. The antimicrobial use data will provide baseline data to undertake a clinical audit and review the impact of interventions on antimicrobial use.
What does it cost?
It is free to use for both owners and veterinary teams.
Who runs the Antimicrobial Audit Tool?
RCVS Knowledge are dedicated to advancing the quality of veterinary care for the benefit of animals, the public, and society. They are the charity partner of the RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons). RCVS Knowledge is a separate organisation to the RCVS, and it is governed as such by the RCVS Knowledge Board of Trustees.
A Steering Committee and Advisory Board provide clinical oversight and guidance for the project. They report to the RCVS Knowledge Quality Improvement Advisory Board, who report to the RCVS Knowledge Board of Trustees. The core data elements captured by the tool have been defined by these groups.
RCVS Knowledge is not a public authority and is therefore not covered by the Freedom of Information Regulations. The tool and online portals are managed on a day-to-day basis by Amplitude Clinical Outcomes, a global leader in online registry software.
The online Tool is managed on a day-to-day basis by Amplitude Clinical Outcomes, a global leader in online health outcomes software.
Do I need to take part?
You do not need to take part, but we hope we have shown how valuable your participation will be and the benefits it will provide, not only for you but also for establishing an evidence-base in this area. If you would like to participate, we need your consent. You are free to withdraw your consent and request any personal data we hold be removed from the audit. Anonymised data will remain.
How do you obtain my consent?
Once the practice is registered, Practice Users can visit the same website to provide their explicit consent electronically.
What personal data do you collect?
With your consent, we collect the following personal information and process it securely under Article 6 of the General Data Protection Regulations and UK Data Protection Act 2018.
- Your name
- Your email address (we recommend that this is an email address used for work)
- Your place of work (which is considered personal information when it is also your personal address)
- Your MRCVS number (if applicable)
- Personal security information, in the form of a question to secure your account.
Can anyone else access my data?
RCVS Knowledge can access your data to administer the tool and provide feedback to the user. Amplitude can access your data to administer the tool. No other organisation will be able to access your identifiable personal information.
Anonymised data may be made available to other organisations, for example, academic establishments for research purposes. Each request to access data will be considered on its merits by the Antimicrobial Audit Tool steering group. As a Practice User, you can see your own personal data and the benchmarking/clinical audit data for the practice (the practice is benchmarked against anonymous aggregated data). You can review anonymous benchmarking and reporting data for the practice.
As a Limited Practice User, you can view your own personal data but cannot view any other practice, benchmarking or reporting data.
What happens to my data?
The audit will only use your personal data to allow you to access the Tool. No third party will have access to your identifiable personal information. The data you provide will be used by the practice to analyse antimicrobial use in your practice and to contribute to national anonymised aggregated benchmark figures. The joint data controllers are RCVS Knowledge and your veterinary practice; therefore, all are subject to the controller requirements set out under the General Data Protection Regulations.
If you are aware of a data breach of any kind, it is your responsibility to inform Amplitude Clinical Outcomes and RCVS Knowledge immediately.
If the data provided by the audit for more than one account holder is to be used in a publication, RCVS Knowledge must be able to review the manuscript and must agree on details of the submission; including appropriate authorship, the nomination of a contact person, and details of the review process to be followed for the manuscript. RCVS Knowledge must be acknowledged as the source of any published data.
In cases where the authors cannot reach a consensus concerning the interpretation of the audit data, the document shall be circulated to the audit committees for discussion and resolution. Using data generated from personal clinical audit for publicity purposes is acceptable. However, results should be updated regularly and generated using the guidelines available separately on the audit website.
How long will you keep my data?
We will keep your data for as long as you wish to be able to engage with the audit. Should you wish to opt-out, you can do so by emailing Amplitude Clinical Outcomes: [email protected].
If you no longer take part in the Antimicrobial Audit Tool, your findings and data will be anonymised, and all traces of your personal data will be deleted. Patient data will be kept indefinitely to ensure consistency and long-term analysis of results.
What happens if a Practice User/Limited Practice User leaves a practice? Does the data inputted then belong to the practice?
This data would belong to the practice and the name of the Practice User and their email address would be removed.
How long do I need to take part?
The audit provides practices with data relating to antimicrobial use, benchmarking of antimicrobial use and owner-reported outcomes for clinical auditing purposes. At present, these data are not readily available to practices in a single tool. The Tool will provide high-quality baseline data on antimicrobial use to undertake a clinical audit and allow practices to identify routes for quality improvement in antimicrobial use. There is no minimum recommended time for practices to submit data and engage with the tool. However, in order to capture the results of interventions and implement best practice behaviours in antimicrobial use, we recommend that the audit becomes a long-term element of your practice’s ongoing quality improvement measures.
Can I withdraw consent?
You can withdraw consent at any time without explanation, after which only anonymised data will remain.
How do I take part?
How can I find out more information?
If you have any questions regarding the platform itself, including login and password details, your profile on the platform and any other technical questions, please contact Amplitude Clinical Outcomes:
[email protected] / 0333 014 6363 available Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm excluding Bank Holidays.
If you have any questions related to this audit, please contact:
We endeavour to respond to all queries within five working days.