Outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy and antibiotic stewardship: opponents or teammates?

Ester Steffens, Charlotte Quintens, Inge Derdelinckx, Willy E Peetermans, Johan Van Eldere, Isabel Spriet, Annette Schuermans
Infection 2018 November 15

PURPOSE: This narrative review aims to describe barriers of outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy at home (OPAT), potentially compromising general standards of antibiotic stewardship (ABS) and facilitators of OPAT for ABS.

METHODS: After a literature review, five authors determined the barriers and facilitators to discuss in this review.

RESULTS: Sixty-six publications were included in the narrative review and seven barriers and five facilitators are discussed in this article. The impracticability of multiple daily dosing during OPAT, the impact of real-life temperature variations, deviations of the infusion rates of elastomeric devices, access to prolonged intravenous antibiotic therapy, not administering loading doses before the initiation of extended or continuous infusions and the transmural nature of care associated with OPAT, can lead to deviations of recommended treatment regimens and sub-optimal clinical and laboratory follow-up, with a risk of inferior clinical outcomes, adverse events, drug-resistance and higher costs. On the other hand, OPAT provides access to treatments with intravenous antibiotics and simultaneously avoids prolonged hospitalization.

CONCLUSION: Implementing ABS guidelines in OPAT programs, e.g., by using a multidisciplinary team approach and facility-specific protocols for OPAT with patient selection criteria and instructions for selection, storage, preparation and administration of antibiotics, can improve appropriate antibiotic use. Additionally, further research should examine the effectiveness of these interventions on outcomes of OPAT.

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