National Antimicrobial Utilisation Surveillance Program (NAUSP)

The National Antimicrobial Utilisation Surveillance Program (NAUSP) is administered by SA Health and funded by the Australian government through the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC). NAUSP is one component of several programs within the Antimicrobial Use and Resistance in Australia (AURA) project, and participation in the program assists with the antimicrobial stewardship requirements for National Safety and Quality in Health Care Standards accreditation.

The program provides contributor hospitals with the ability to download various reports on their antimicrobial usage rates, enabling them to compare their usage to similarly peered hospitals and identify areas for improvement. Annual reports provide hospital benchmarking data by peer group, in a de-identified manner. Further benchmarking by jurisdiction is now available.

If you are interested in joining, a New Contributor Checklist can be found in the Related Resources section along with Program data definitions and principles. All new registrations are completed via the NAUSP Portal; for training videos and further documentation, visit the Portal homepage. Initial enquiries may be directed to

Antimicrobial surveillance

Surveillance of antimicrobial usage is a fundamental component of antimicrobial stewardship within a health facility in order to target interventions to improve antimicrobial prescribing. It is also a required action for hospitals to comply with Standard 3 of the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards.

From a public health perspective, antimicrobial surveillance enables us to investigate links between antimicrobial use and bacterial resistance.

Types of surveillance

Types of antimicrobial surveillance can be classified as being:

  • volume-based (observing trends in quantities of antimicrobials used)
  • quality-based (observing the appropriateness of antimicrobial prescribing. An example of quality-based surveillance is the National Antimicrobial Prescribing Survey (NAPS)

NAUSP is an example of volume-based surveillance. Data from this type of surveillance can be used to follow trends in antimicrobial usage, and for comparing usage rates with other hospital groups.


NAUSP uses dispensing and occupancy data supplied by contributing hospitals to analyse trends in usage over time. NAUSP collects information for a wide range of antimicrobial agents (PDF 164KB).

Monthly antimicrobial usage data (derived from pharmacy dispensing records) and patient admission data (overnight occupied bed days) are converted to the internationally recognised drug usage rate of defined daily dose (DDD) per 1000 occupied bed days.

The standardisation of data enables comparison of usage rates between agents and between hospitals, and can be used to generate a national average usage rate for each agent. However, this method is not currently validated for populations where doses vary, such as in paediatric and neonatal settings. Consequently all paediatric and neonatal data are currently excluded from NAUSP.

For further details relating to NAUSP methodology, see the NAUSP Data Principles and Definitions (PDF 409KB) and NAUSP Portal User Guide (PDF 1.5MB).

NAUSP Portal 

Contributing hospitals load and extract antimicrobial data through the NAUSP Portal. From March 2017, enhancements allow contributor hospitals to load and extract at specialty level. An increased range of benchmarking options is available.

More information on the NAUSP Portal can be found on the NAUSP Portal homepage or by contacting the NAUSP team.


Standard NAUSP reports

Standard NAUSP reports include usage rates for six antibacterial classes and individual agents within those classes, enabling contributing hospitals to track their usage internally, and compare it to usage rates from similarly peered hospitals.

Hospitals are peered according to the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare (AIHW) classification. Benchmarking within jurisdictions is also possible.

Biannual reports containing aggregated data by peer group and state/territory are available from the Antimicrobial utilisation surveillance statistics page.

Annual reports

Each year a more detailed report is produced for the National program. This report provides annual aggregate data and longitudinal trends for an expanded number of antibacterial agents (PDF 507KB).

Individual hospital data are reported in order to appreciate the amount of variation in usage rates between hospitals. Confidentiality is maintained by the use of a contributor coding system.

To access the annual reports see the Antimicrobial utilisation surveillance statistics page.

Further reading

Further information

For further information on National Antimicrobial Utilisation Surveillance Program, contact the Program Coordinator on (08) 7425 7169 or email

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