Background. Outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy (OPAT) is a safe and effective modality for treating serious infections. This study was undertaken to define the value of OPAT in a multicentered infectious disease (ID) private practice setting.
Methods. Over a period of 32 months, 6120 patients were treated using 19 outpatient ID offices in 6 states. Analysis included patient demographics, indications of OPAT, diagnoses, therapeutic agent, duration of therapy, and site of therapy initiation. Outcomes were stratified by therapeutic success, clinical relapse, therapeutic complications, and hospitalizations after initiating therapy. Statistical analysis included an ordinal logistic regression analysis.
Results. Forty-three percent of patients initiated therapy in an outpatient office, and 57% began therapy in a hospital. Most common diagnoses treated were bone and joint (32.2%), abscesses (18.8%), cellulitis (18.5%), and urinary tract infection (10.8%). Ninety-four percent of patients were successfully treated, and only 3% were hospitalized after beginning therapy. Most common cause of treatment failure was a relapse of primary infection (60%), progression of primary infection (21%), and therapeutic complication (19%).
Conclusions. An ID-supervised OPAT program is safe, efficient, and clinically effective. By maximizing the delivery of outpatient care, OPAT provides a tangible value to hospitals, payers, and patients. This program is a distinctive competency available to ID physicians who offer this service to patients.