Clinical benefits and costs of an outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy service

Res Social Adm Pharm. 2021 Jan 24:S1551-7411(21)00032-2. doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2021.01.009. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: The enrolment of patients to an outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) service can be a means of mitigating financial burdens related to the provision of care and optimisation of hospital bed management.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to identify the clinical benefit of the Maltese OPAT service and to quantify the costs incurred to run it.

METHODS: The study period ran for 156 weeks during 1st October 2016 to 1st October 2019. Patient demographics, infection type, referring care team, antimicrobial agent/s used, type of vascular access device (VAD) available and service completion status (defined as provision of care without re-hospitalisation) were recorded. Time allocated for OPAT service delivery and expenses incurred were collected and an activity-based costing exercise was performed.

RESULTS: The patient population who benefited from the service was of 117, 15 of whom used the service twice, for a total of 132 episodes. Patients received 149 antimicrobial treatment courses, with ceftriaxone being the most common single agent used (n = 52, 34.9%). Teicoplanin with ertapenem was the most common regimen selected for combination therapy (n = 9, 52.9%). A total of 23 episodes (17.4%) resulted in a readmission, 6 (30%) of which were because of patient deterioration. The mean service running weekly cost was €455.47/$538.68 and a total of 3287 days of hospital stay were avoided. This effectively illustrates that the OPAT service optimised hospital bed availability without compromising care delivery.

CONCLUSION: The national OPAT service proved to be a safe and effective alternative for patient management to promote patient-centred care without hospitalisation.

PMID:33551209 | DOI:10.1016/j.sapharm.2021.01.009