The aim is to provide a safe and successful completion of IV antimicrobial treatment at the ambulatory care center or at home without complications and costs associated with hospitalization” Smismans et al (2018).
Since its introduction in the 1970s in the United States, outpatient parenteral antibiotic/antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) has been adopted internationally for long-term intravenous (IV) treatment of stable infectious diseases. The aim is to provide a safe and successful completion of IV antimicrobial treatment at the ambulatory care center or at home without complications and costs associated with hospitalization.
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OPAT implementation has been accelerated by progress in vascular access devices, newly available antibiotics, the emphasis on cost-savings, as well as an improved patient comfort and a reduced incidence of health care associated infections with a similar outcome. OPAT utilization is supported by an extensive published experience and guidelines of the British Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy and the Infectious Diseases Society of America for adults as well as for children. Despite these recommendations and its widespread adoption, in Belgium OPAT is only fully reimbursed and established for cystic fibrosis patients. Possible explanations for this unpopularity include physician unfamiliarity and a lack of uniform funding arrangements with higher costs for the patient. This article aims to briefly review benefits, risks, indications, financial impact for supporting OPAT in a non-university hospital as standard of care. Our experience with OPAT at the ambulatory care center of our hospital and its subsequent recent introduction in the home setting is discussed.
Smismans, A., Vantrappen, A., Verbiest, F., Indevuyst, C., Van den Poel, B., von Winckelmann, S., Peeters, A., Ombelet, S., Lybeert, P., Heremans, A., Frans, E., Ho, E. and Frans, J. (2018) OPAT: proof of concept in a peripheral Belgian hospital after review of the literature. Acta Clinica Belgica. January 31st. .
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