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Intravenous to Oral Switch: Within Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy (IVOST)

Are you involved in the prescribing/administration of antibiotics? Explore the benefits and barriers of IVOST and COPAT.

2,533 enrolled on this course

pre and post-surgery IV ©Dr. Amauri Caversan on flickr
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
  • Accreditation

    AvailableMore info

Discover the principles and practices supporting IVOST and COPAT.

The use of intravenous antimicrobials and complex oral antimicrobial regimes within outpatient clinical environments is helping with non-admission to and early discharge from hospital. The course will lead you through the principles underlying these therapies, how to determine their suitability, and key practices for prescribers.

This course -by experts from the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy- is for healthcare workers who prescribe and administer antibiotics. It explores the benefits and barriers of IVOST and complex oral antimicrobial therapy in the context of an OPAT service.

What topics will you cover?

  • The principles of Intravenous to Oral Antibiotic Switch Therapy (IVOST) within the Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy (OPAT) setting; principles will apply to inpatient care too, but this will not be the focus
  • How oral and complex oral antibiotics can be used in an Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy (OPAT) setting and the evolving entity of Complex (Outpatient) Oral and Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy (COPAT) services
  • The key practice points for OPAT-based prescribers (e.g. route, choice, duration, recording of information)
  • When IVOST and/or complex oral antibiotic therapy is appropriate, and understand the benefits of early IVOST/complex oral antibiotic therapy and key considerations that determine implementation of both in OPAT settings

Who is this accredited by?

Royal College of Pathologists
Royal College of Pathologists:

The Royal College of Pathologists is a professional membership organisation with charitable status, concerned with all matters relating to the science and practice of pathology.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of intravenous compared to oral antibiotic therapy
  • Describe the need for detailed patient assessment when switching from intravenous to oral therapy in the OPAT setting
  • Describe the principles of switching patients from intravenous to oral antibiotic and the processes required to safely monitor therapy in the OPAT setting
  • Explore the clinical complexity of monitoring complex oral parenteral antibiotic therapy in the outpatient setting (COPAT), the characteristics of antibiotics or antibiotic regimens that require enhanced outpatient monitoring and the key components
  • Evaluate the need for, and nature of, clinical governance of COPAT, to ensure high-quality service and how this can be applied to their location

Who is the course for?

Healthcare workers involved in the prescribing and administration of antibiotics. The course is set at final year medical student/1st year doctor/new specialist nurse/junior pharmacist level and should therefore appeal to a wide-range of healthcare professionals.

What software or tools do you need?


What do people say about this course?

Quizzes were focused and the resource material excellent and extensive

"Fantastic course...enjoyed it very much, the quizzes were focused and the resource material excellent and extensive. Thank you! I will recommend to the team!"

Who will you learn with?

Gavin has been a consultant/hon. senior lecturer since 2004. Gavin’s main clinical interests are antimicrobial stewardship, orthopaedic infection, OPAT and complex bacterial infection.

Who developed the course?


Founded in 1971, the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy is committed to addressing the growing threat of drug resistant infections around the world.

Learning on FutureLearn

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  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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