Methods: We used a standardised surveillance method to collect detailed data about antimicrobial prescribing and resistance from hospitals worldwide, which were grouped by UN region. The internet-based survey included all inpatients (adults, children, and neonates) receiving an antimicrobial who were on the ward at 0800 h on one specific day between January and September, 2015. Hospitals were classified as primary, secondary, tertiary (including infectious diseases hospitals), and paediatric hospitals. Five main ward types were defined: medical wards, surgical wards, intensive-care units, haematology oncology wards, and medical transplantation (bone marrow or solid transplants) wards. Data recorded included patient characteristics, antimicrobials received, diagnosis, therapeutic indication according to predefined lists, and markers of prescribing quality (eg, whether a stop or review date were recorded, and whether local prescribing guidelines existed and were adhered to). We report findings for adult inpatients.
Findings: The Global-PPS for 2015 included adult data from 303 hospitals in 53 countries, including eight lower-middle-income and 17 upper-middle-income countries. 86 776 inpatients were admitted to 3315 adult wards, of whom 29 891 (34·4%) received at least one antimicrobial. 41 213 antimicrobial prescriptions were issued, of which 36 792 (89·3%) were antibacterial agents for systemic use. The top three antibiotics prescribed worldwide were penicillins with β-lactamase inhibitors, third-generation cephalosporins, and fluoroquinolones. Carbapenems were most frequently prescribed in Latin America and west and central Asia. Of patients who received at least one antimicrobial, 5926 (19·8%) received a targeted antibacterial treatment for systemic use, and 1769 (5·9%) received a treatment targeting at least one multidrug-resistant organism. The frequency of health-care-associated infections was highest in Latin America (1518 [11·9%]) and east and south Asia (5363 [10·1%]). Overall, the reason for treatment was recorded in 31 694 (76·9%) of antimicrobial prescriptions, and a stop or review date in 15 778 (38·3%). Local antibiotic guidelines were missing for 7050 (19·2%) of the 36 792 antibiotic prescriptions, and guideline compliance was 77·4%.
Interpretation: The Global-PPS showed that worldwide surveillance can be accomplished with voluntary participation. It provided quantifiable measures to assess and compare the quantity and quality of antibiotic prescribing and resistance in hospital patients worldwide. These data will help to improve the quality of antibiotic prescribing through education and practice changes, particularly in low-income and middle-income countries that have no tools to monitor antibiotic prescribing in hospitals.