Training health professionals to reduce antimicrobial resistance – The AMR-EDUCare project kicks off

14 April 2023

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new EU-funded project, AMR-Educare – EduCation on Antimicrobial REsistance for the health workforce. The project will develop educational materials for healthcare professionals to reduce the spread and exposure to Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). Through three specific courses, it will optimise antimicrobial prescribing, reduce antimicrobial waste, and empower patients through effective communication.

AMR occurs when changes in bacteria cause the drugs used to treat infections to become less effective. It has emerged as one of the leading public health threats of the 21st century, annually responsible for an estimated 33,000 deaths and €1.5 billion in healthcare costs and productivity losses in the EU. Globally, it has been calculated that 1.27m people died in 2019 from infections attributable to antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB) (Murray et al., 2022). Without effective antimicrobials, infections would be much harder to treat and the risk of disease spread, severe illness, and death would significantly increase, including during major surgery and cancer chemotherapy.

Whilst AMR is a natural process, the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials are dangerously accelerating its progress. There is a strong correlation between levels of antimicrobial use and levels of resistance. It is therefore crucial to address the inappropriate use and overuse of antimicrobials to slow down the development of AMR. Another contributing factor to resistance is antimicrobial residues entering the environment. They can do so throughout their life cycle: manufacturing discharges; excretion (up to 80% of antibiotics are excreted through urine and faeces); and improper disposal. These residues pollute the environment, exert selective pressure that increases the prevalence of resistance, and drive the development of new antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria.

The project will therefore develop training programmes targeting medical doctors, nurses, community pharmacists and health management professionals in six EU countries where AMR is particularly high (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Hungary and Lithuania). The training programmes will focus on behaviour change and digital upskilling in the areas of prescription, waste management and patient empowerment to reduce the spread of and exposure to AMR. The training will be developed and delivered in cooperation with academic institutions from the six target countries, European and national health professional associations and member state authorities.

EHMA will play an important role in securing the long-term sustainability of the project’s training materials and resources by developing a business model for their commercialisation beyond the project lifetime. Further, EHMA will set up a health management professionals working group and organise a multi-disciplinary co-creation workshop to identify skill gaps in antimicrobial waste management and share best practices. The solutions to promote will particularly focus on procurement, logistics and planning of antimicrobial waste management.

Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or HaDEA. Neither the European Union nor HaDEA can be held responsible for them.


Recent News

What our Members say

I have been active in EHMA since the first years of the '90s and I have seen its evolution from a small association of members interested in sharing knowledge on health management practices to the current status of reference and advisory key player for EU, health systems and organisations, stakeholders associations, industry and universities. EHMA is now a unique knowledge hub, policy advisor, community of practice and network of best in class organisations involved in health policy and management. A place where health managers can build their competences, policy-makers and stakeholder associations envision how to implement and sustain change through health management, industry leaders understand how to engage more effectively with health organisations and systems. The right place to nurture and grow health management capabilities and capacity for every stakeholder of health systems.

Prof. Federico Lega, University of Milan, Italy

Health management has a crucial function in shaping public health and health system challenges. The Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria had success in collaborating with EHMA on EU-funded projects that has resourced us to create new health management competencies for the future workforce. In addition to all classical definitions, health management is a science dealing with individuals, groups, and society at large. It is an art contributing to the beauty of our lives and an interactive communication process at all levels of institutions and human energy. I have also had the pleasure to chair the South Eastern European Special Interest Group which gives members a space to discuss and tools to address how health systems are managed in our regions.

Prof. Todorka Kostadinova, Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria

I enjoy the high level of interaction and engagement in EHMA’s activities, in particular during the annual conference where the panel discussions are rich and well prepared. As a hospital manager and professor of health management, EHMA motivates and inspires me to be creative. You go back home feeling energised from seeing old friends and making new connections, as well as being convinced of serving as EHMA’s ambassador. It’s a strong feeling of interdisciplinary engagement, but it also feels like being part of family-like community.

Prof. Sandra C. Buttigieg, University of Malta, Malta

EHMA is a pre-eminent organisation for everyone working in planning, managing and delivering health services across Europe. As a long standing member of EHMA I have always been impressed by the vibrant community of managers, researchers and academics it has created and by the many opportunities for sharing knowledge and funding opportunities it has brought to its members. Its international scope is impressive and its impact is often felt in management and research across European and national health systems.

Prof. Axel Kaehne, Edge Hill University, UK

Health workforce has become more essential in operating, managing and maintaining health systems lately, particularly in crisis and emergency situations. European healthcare professions and the workforce need to be high on the agenda of managers and decision makers. The Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University in Hungary is a longstanding EHMA member, because it connects us with collaborators and experts, with whom we can have complex debates, from whom we can learn and at the end find solutions in various challenging fields of healthcare management.

Dr Eszter Kovács, Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University, Hungary

As a hospital administrator and health management professor, I see on a daily basis that the healthcare challenges require talented and skilled managers to transform it. the EHMA membership has been beneficial to bring healthcare management research and education to the demanding healthcare services world, promoting healthcare management competencies and knowledge creation.

Dr Alexandre Lourenco, APAH - Association of Portuguese Hospital Managers, Portugal

Many healthcare systems in Europe and beyond are facing similar challenges which require innovative and creative solutions. EHMA’s annual conference, webinars, Programme Directors’ group and other activities and resources provide incredible opportunities for networking, connecting and sharing experiences. A distinct feature of EHMA is the diversity of members with representation from many countries, sectors and different communities of practice – academic, policy-makers, practitioners, managers, leaders and students. The annual conference is a highlight in the calendar year, offering a friendly, fun and learningful environment for emerging and established members to engage, collaborate and meet up with old and new friends. I am proud to be a member of the EHMA Board.

Prof. Ann Mahon, University of Manchester, UK

Society evolution, pandemics and ageing modify health needs. So, health policies and services are to change dramatically. EHMA, through webinars, workshops and annual conference provides an excellent insight to a professional changing world, favouring closeness to management innovation and the protagonists of these changes. As a primary care services’ manager, participating in EHMA activities is really worth it and allows to involve oneself in the innovation processes.

Dr Antoni Peris Grao, Consorci Castelldefels Agents de Salut (CASAP), Spain