Outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy in Singapore

D A Fisher, A Kurup, D Lye, P A Tambyah, Z Sulaiman, E Y H Poon, W Lee, V Kaur, P L Lim
International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents 2006, 28 (6): 545-50
Outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy (OPAT) remains in its infancy in Singapore, with the first patients enrolled 4 years ago. Singapore's three largest hospitals, with over 3000 inpatient beds, now have designated and approved OPAT services. This study reviews the demographic, clinical and cost data of all patients enrolled in 2005 to facilitate benchmarking between services in Singapore and abroad and also to identify common needs for further development. In 2005, 225 OPAT enrollments in 208 different patients resulted in 4050 days of OPAT care. Orthopaedic diagnoses constituted 40% of admissions. Vancomycin was the most frequently used antibiotic (34%). The re-admission rate was 8.9%, but complications of OPAT care were only occasionally implicated. An estimated $207,200 was saved by patients despite there being significant financial disincentives to subsidised patients. OPAT is a safe, cost-efficient system that is becoming increasingly accepted in Singapore by patients, clinicians and management. Our three services have evolved independently into very similar practices. There is potential for further innovation, including outreach and carer-delivered dosing. However, major financial disincentives require review.

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