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Summing up – Careful patient selection for OPAT

Importance of the OPAT team and how patients are selected
Blue arrows on tarmac marking two directions

In Week 1 of this course we have seen that an OPAT service requires the complementary roles, skills and competencies of it’s core members.

A key first step in safe OPAT practice is careful patient selection. We have learnt that before considering OPAT, patients should be stable from both the point of view of the infection and other co-morbidities. The infection should have been fully evaluated prior to discharge or it should be safe to complete evaluation in the outpatient setting. OPAT should not be used in preference to oral antibiotic therapy if criteria for oral treatment are met.

To further minimise risk of patient harm and OPAT failure, psychological and social factors must also be carefully assessed before a patient is accepted onto OPAT.

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OPAT: Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy

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