The concept of Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy (OPAT) was started in the 1970s so patients did not have to spend weeks to months in the hospital to receive intravenous (IV) antimicrobials for a serious infection. This benefited both the patient and the hospital by allowing an individual to complete a course in the comfort of their own home and also allowing a hospital bed to be utilized for more acute patients. Since then, OPAT has evolved and is now well known in Infectious Diseases as a standard for patients who require long term IV antimicrobials. There are general OPAT guidelines each institution follows, but each OPAT program has slight variation in their internal processes.
OHSU’s OPAT Program is a RN-led model which includes an OPAT pharmacist and is further supported by a medical assistant care coordinator with dedicated OPAT time. OPAT medical decision making is the responsibility of Infectious Disease physicians. OHSU’s OPAT program relies on protocols to run smoothly and efficiently, with patient safety being central to our program’s philosophy.