Impact of a multidisciplinary team review of potential outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy prior to discharge from an academic medical center

Brett H Heintz, Jenana Halilovic, Cinda L Christensen
Annals of Pharmacotherapy 2011, 45 (11): 1329-37

BACKGROUND: Outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) is frequently prescribed at hospital discharge, often without infectious diseases (ID) clinician oversight. We developed a multidisciplinary team, including an ID pharmacist, to review OPAT care plans at hospital discharge to improve safety, clinical efficacy, practicality, and appropriateness of the proposed antimicrobial regimen.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of the OPAT team on regimen safety, efficacy, and complexity; calculate the economic benefits of the service by avoiding hospital discharge delay, central venous catheter placement, or need for OPAT; and evaluate the discharge environment among OPAT referrals.

METHODS: In an observational design, we analyzed the impact of an OPAT team from July 2009 through June 2010 at a large academic tertiary care hospital. All patients with plans for continued parenteral therapy after discharge referred to the OPAT team were included in the analysis. Patients were excluded if OPAT was cancelled prior to processing of the referral.

RESULTS: During the 1-year study period, 569 of 644 consecutive referrals to the OPAT team met inclusion criteria, resulting in 494 OPAT courses. Interventions by an ID pharmacist were made for safety (56%), regimen complexity (41%), and efficacy (29%). Lack of formal ID physician consultation resulted in more interventions for safety (64% vs 48%, p < 0.001) and efficacy (36% vs 21%, p < 0.001). Discharge delays were avoided for 35 referrals, resulting in 228 hospital days avoided and approximately $366,000 in hospital bed cost savings. Use of OPAT was avoided in 75 referrals (13.2%), preventing central venous catheter placement in 48 patients (8.4%), resulting in an additional $58,080 in cost savings.

CONCLUSIONS: The OPAT team optimized safety, efficacy, and convenience of OPAT while providing substantial cost savings. Further studies are needed to confirm the program's cost-effectiveness.

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