Can a virus alert system for use in primary care be developed using routinely available respiratory virus data?
Improving antibiotic stewardship is an international priority. Over 75% of all health service antibiotics are prescribed by GPs and nurses in primary care. A recent systematic review (accepted for publication in Family Practice) has found promising, but limited, evidence that locally relevant, real-time data regarding locally circulating microbes can improve clinician management and antibiotic prescribing in primary care.
Ethics approval has been received to use historic virus data to establish if these could, in principle’ be used to develop a ‘virus alert’ system for use in primary care. The objectives of this quantitative PhD would be:
1. To develop a ‘gold standard’ method for the identification of clinically important changes in positivity rates of viruses based on expert opinion.
2. To identify clinically important changes in positivity rates of common respiratory viruses.
3. To develop and validate analytical algorithms to identify such changes.
4. To determine the most appropriate timing of information bulletins, whether routine or alert-based bulletins.