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The University of Southampton
Global Network for Anti-Microbial Resistance and Infection Prevention

Trial promoting appropriate antibiotic prescribing using decision-support software during COVID-19

Published: 2 June 2020
Microguide on a mobile phone

Inappropriate use of antibiotics is a recognised problem during the Covid-19 pandemic and has resulted in a resurgence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens such as C. difficile in some UK hospitals. 

Dr Kieran Hand, honorary Associate Professor in the School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences, is an expert on antibiotic stewardship and, in collaboration with Professor Susan Latter, has secured £200,000 of funding from Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited to carry out a cluster-randomised controlled trial of a computerised decision-support system to promote appropriate antibiotic prescribing in 40 NHS hospitals. 

The decision-support system was created for the MicroGuide app, which is licensed to over 70 NHS acute Trusts and was developed by University Hospital Southampton in collaboration with a UK software firm Horizon Strategic Partners.

Professor Leighton said “I am delighted that NAMRIP’s early support of MicroGuide through two pump priming projects is making a real difference to the NHS. Kieran and the team have worked with great determination whilst also carrying a full NHS workload. Supporting prescribing is now more vital than ever: C. difficile and other anti-microbial-resistant pathogens are still placing huge strain on NHS resources, at a time when COVID-19 is stretching them. Many of us know patients in hospital, including high dependency, who contracted such pathogens on top of their original condition, and effective prescribing is one of the crucial measures we need in place to enable the NHS to treat patients of all conditions (including COVID-19) who contract a hospital-acquired infection.”


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