Through our ongoing collaboration with Rx-info and our continued development of the Define Platform we've recently been involved in an exciting area of antibiotic research within the NHS. Consultants at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and researchers at the University of Leeds have been exploring whether wider diversity in antibiotic use could stabalise and maybe even reduce antimicrobial resistance.

The Sandiumunge paper from 2006 proposes a "Antimicrobial Homogeneity Index" (AHI) to quantify the degree of antibiotic homogeneity through the use of a modified version of the Peterson Homogeneity Index. Our part of this project was to develop a method for calculating the AHI for NHS Trusts using the 1/3 of a trillion prescription records held in the Define system.

The resulting reports now provide the NHS with a real time picture of the AHI across the whole country, and a view of the historic AHI and how it has changed over time:

Screenshot of AHI in Define

These reports are an important part of the bigger picture and may help to build a case for new standard practices for reducing microbial resistance. Combined with the results of other antimicrobial research projects and further insights from the Define platform we are hoping to see positive results soon.