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Paving the Way for the Implementation of a Decision Support System for Antibiotic Prescribing in Primary Care in West Africa: Preimplementation and Co-Design Workshop With Physicians.

Peiffer-Smadja, N., Poda, A., Ouedraogo, A-S. , Guiard-Schmid, J-B., Delory, T., Le Bel, J., Bouvet, E., Lariven, S., Jeanmougin, P., Ahmad, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-4294-7142 & Lescure, F-X. (2020). Paving the Way for the Implementation of a Decision Support System for Antibiotic Prescribing in Primary Care in West Africa: Preimplementation and Co-Design Workshop With Physicians.. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22(7), article number e17940. doi: 10.2196/17940


BACKGROUND: Suboptimal use of antibiotics is a driver of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Clinical decision support systems (CDSS) can assist prescribers with rapid access to up-to-date information. In low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), the introduction of CDSS for antibiotic prescribing could have a measurable impact. However, interventions to implement them are challenging because of cultural and structural constraints, and their adoption and sustainability in routine clinical care are often limited. Preimplementation research is needed to ensure relevant adaptation and fit within the context of primary care in West Africa. OBJECTIVE: This study examined the requirements for a CDSS adapted to the context of primary care in West Africa, to analyze the barriers and facilitators of its implementation and adaptation, and to ensure co-designed solutions for its adaptation and sustainable use. METHODS: We organized a workshop in Burkina Faso in June 2019 with 47 health care professionals representing 9 West African countries and 6 medical specialties. The workshop began with a presentation of Antibioclic, a publicly funded CDSS for antibiotic prescribing in primary care that provides personalized antibiotic recommendations for 37 infectious diseases. Antibioclic is freely available on the web and as a smartphone app (iOS, Android). The presentation was followed by a roundtable discussion and completion of a questionnaire with open-ended questions by participants. Qualitative data were analyzed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: Most of the participants had access to a smartphone during their clinical consultations (35/47, 74%), but only 49% (23/47) had access to a computer and none used CDSS for antibiotic prescribing. The participants considered that CDSS could have a number of benefits including updating the knowledge of practitioners on antibiotic prescribing, improving clinical care and reducing AMR, encouraging the establishment of national guidelines, and developing surveillance capabilities in primary care. The most frequently mentioned contextual barrier to implementing a CDSS was the potential risk of increasing self-medication in West Africa, where antibiotics can be bought without a prescription. The need for the CDSS to be tailored to the local epidemiology of infectious diseases and AMR was highlighted along with the availability of diagnostic tests and antibiotics using national guidelines where available. Participants endorsed co-design involving all stakeholders, including nurses, midwives, and pharmacists, as central to any introduction of CDSS. A phased approach was suggested by initiating and evaluating CDSS at a pilot site, followed by dissemination using professional networks and social media. The lack of widespread internet access and computers could be circumvented by a mobile app with an offline mode. CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides valuable information for the development and implementation of a CDSS for antibiotic prescribing among primary care prescribers in LMICs and may, in turn, contribute to improving antibiotic use, clinical outcomes and decreasing AMR.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © Nathan Peiffer-Smadja, Armel Poda, Abdoul-Salam Ouedraogo, Jean-Baptiste Guiard-Schmid, Tristan Delory, Josselin Le Bel, Elisabeth Bouvet, Sylvie Lariven, Pauline Jeanmougin, Raheelah Ahmad, François-Xavier Lescure. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (, 20.07.2020. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.
Publisher Keywords: decision support systems, clinical; antibiotic resistance, microbial; drug resistance, microbial; antibiotic stewardship; implementation science; Africa, Western; diffusion of innovation; medical informatics applications
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT Africa
R Medicine
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
SWORD Depositor:
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