An Assessment of an Outpatient Antimicrobial Therapy Program in a Rural Medical Center : A Retrospective Chart Review

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Current literature supports outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT). This article presents results from a research study that evaluated an OPAT program that treated community-acquired pneumonia. If patients had the opportunity to receive outpatient intravenous antibiotics for community-acquired pneumonia, would this prevent future hospitalization? Was there a decrease in hospital admissions? An informal cost-benefit analysis comparing OPAT with inpatient hospital admissions for the same disease was also reviewed to provide evidence whether there was a change. What was the overall health care cost savings? The medical charts of 50 patients with confirmed pneumonia who had received OPAT in a 3-month period were reviewed. A retrospective medical record review was performed. All patients were evaluated by the in-house OPAT team. The resulting analysis provided evidence that an estimated savings of approximately $2100 per day would be achieved by decreasing hospital readmissions for patient who had been treated with OPAT. The conclusion of this study provides evidence that the implement of an OPAT program was, and is, essential for patient care and evidence-based best practice adherence.

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