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"We aimed to develop and evaluate an OPAT program for patients with cancer, particularly solid tumors" Robins et al (2021).

OPAT for patients with cancer


Background and objectives: Outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) for infections has been in use for nearly 40 years, and although it has been found safe and efficacious, its use has been studied primarily among otherwise healthy patients. We aimed to develop and evaluate an OPAT program for patients with cancer, particularly solid tumors.

Methods: We implemented multiple quality improvement interventions between June 2018 and January 2020. We retrospectively and prospectively collected data on demographics, the completeness of infectious diseases (ID) physician consultation notes, rates of laboratory test result monitoring, ID clinic follow-up, and 30-day outcomes, including unplanned OPAT-related readmissions, OPAT-related emergency center visits, and deaths.

Results: Completeness of ID provider notes improved from a baseline of 77 to 100% (p < .0001) for antimicrobial recommendations, 75 to 97% (p < .0001) for follow-up recommendations, and 19 to 98% (p < .0001) for laboratory test result monitoring recommendations. Completion of laboratory tests increased from a baseline rate of 24 to 56% (p = .027). Thirty-day unplanned OPAT-related readmission, ID clinic follow-up, 30-day emergency center visit, and death rates improved without reaching statistical significance.

Conclusions: Sustained efforts, multiple interventions, and multidisciplinary engagement can improve laboratory test result monitoring among solid tumor patients discharged with OPAT. Although demonstrating a decrease in unplanned readmissions through institution of a formal OPAT program among patients with solid malignancies may be more difficult compared with the general population, the program may still result in improved safety.


Robins A, Dishner E, McDaneld P, Rowan M, Bartek J, Jiang Y, Adachi J, Dailey Garnes NJM. Improving the safety of outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy for patients with solid tumors. Support Care Cancer. 2021 Sep 22. doi: 10.1007/s00520-021-06549-3. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34550460.