A holistic approach to antimicrobial use (AMU) and prescribing is needed to combat the problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Previously, an antimicrobial stewardship programme (ASP) was developed, introduced, and evaluated in 44 Dutch companion animal clinics, which resulted in an optimization of AMU. As a follow-up to this, an online course was developed to promote awareness of AMU, AMR, and responsible antimicrobial prescribing. The aim of this paper is to describe the development and pilot, including evaluation, of this course, which will be disseminated more widely among Dutch companion animal veterinarians. The interactive programme consists of a major e-learning component and two online, face-to-face meetings. The course comprises five different parts corresponding with five consecutive weeks. Theory on several topics is offered, for example on AMU and AMR in general, Dutch regulations and guidelines on veterinary AMU, behavioural change, and possible methods to quantify AMU. Additionally, several assignments are offered, for example to reflect upon one’s own current antimicrobial prescribing behaviour. Interactive discussion and peer-to-peer learning are promoted. Since September 2020, the course has been offered in a pilot phase, and the feedback is promising. Evaluation of the pilot phase will result in recommendations for further optimization and dissemination.
- Antimicrobial stewardship
- Companion animals
- Optimizing antimicrobial prescribing
- Small private online course (SPOC)
- Veterinary medicine