The data files of ARSP were started in 1988 by then Senior Science Research Specialist Ms. Susan Tan. She was at the helm from 1988 to 1994.
In 1988, the first year of implementation of the program, the data files that were available were data from September 1988 to December 1989 only. To facilitate analysis of antimicrobial susceptibility data, the ARSP data was initially handled by Ms. Tan using SPSS software.
On December 8, 1994 the ARS committee decided to adapt the WHONET computer program, (a windows-based database software in 1989 by the WHO Collaborating Centre for Surveillance of AMR at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, USA) for purposes of Data Entry, Analysis and Reporting. On April 26, 1995, a workshop was held at the RITM on the use of the WHONET software. Thereafter, regular trainings were conducted for both reference laboratory and sentinel site staff. By the end of the year 1994, some sites started using WHONET 2 (DOS version). By 1995, all data files from sentinel sites were in WHONET 2 format and was used until year 2000. In 1999, MIC results were incorporated in the analysis.
WHONET 5 (WINDOWS version) was first used in 2001, and is still being currently used with the software having been revised through the years. WHONET 5.3 was used in the conversion of the ARSP files (1988-2000) using BACLINK module of WHONET. At present, there are 3 versions of WHONET downloadable from whonet.org, the three versions are; WHONET 5.6, WHONET 2019 and WHONET web, which is still in development.
Through the years, the ARSP had been a faithful user of WHONET and had participated in the development of the program by providing comments on new versions sent for evaluation by Dr. John Stelling, co-founder and developer of the WHONET software.