5: Hospital-in-the-home treatment of infectious diseases

Med J Aust. 2002 May 6;176(9):440-5. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2002.tb04450.x.


1. A growing range of infections can be safely and effectively treated with parenteral antimicrobial therapy at home, including cellulitis, pyelonephritis, pneumonia, endocarditis, osteomyelitis, septic arthritis and deep abscesses. 2. Patients may be admitted to HITH directly from the emergency department or after a period of in-hospital care; they must be thoroughly assessed for suitability, including clinical stability and social circumstances, and both patient and carer consent must be obtained. 3. Patients should be medically reviewed weekly at the hospital to monitor progress of therapy and check for possible complications, including adverse drug reactions. 4. Antibiotic selection should be based on appropriate prescribing principles rather than purely dosing convenience. 5. Innovative dosing regimens, including once-daily aminoglycosides, continuous-infusion beta-lactams (eg, flucloxacillin), once- or twice-daily cephalosporins (eg, cephazolin) and oral fluoroquinolones (eg, ciprofloxacin) provide effective therapy for a wide range of infections that would have previously required in-hospital care. 6. Appropriate use of HITH leads to improved patient and carer satisfaction, efficient in-hospital bed use and possibly some financial efficiencies. Not all patients receiving intravenous antibiotics need to be in hospital

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage
  • Catheterization, Peripheral
  • Home Care Services, Hospital-Based*
  • Humans
  • Infections / therapy*
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Surgical Wound Infection / drug therapy


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antiviral Agents