Successful implementation of outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy at a medical respite facility for homeless patients

J Hosp Med. 2016 Aug;11(8):531-5. doi: 10.1002/jhm.2597. Epub 2016 Apr 27.


Background: Outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) is a safe way to administer intravenous (IV) antimicrobial therapy to patients with the potential to decrease hospital length of stay (LOS). Often, homeless patients with complex infections, who could otherwise be treated as an outpatient, remain in the hospital for the duration of IV antibiotic treatment. Injection drug use (IDU) is a barrier to OPAT.

Objective: To evaluate our experience with administering OPAT to homeless patients at a medical respite facility and determine if patients could complete a successful course of antibiotics.

Design: Using retrospective chart review, demographics, diagnosis, and comorbidities including mental illness, current IDU, and remote IDU (>3 months ago) were recorded. Surgical, microbiologic, and antimicrobial therapy including route (IV or oral), duration of therapy, and adverse events were abstracted.

Participants: Homeless patients >18 years old who received OPAT at medical respite after discharge, no exclusions.

Main measurements: Primary outcome was successful completion of OPAT at medical respite. Secondary outcome was successful antimicrobial course completion for a specific diagnosis.

Results: Forty-six (87%) patients successfully completed a defined course of antibiotic therapy. Thirty-four (64%) patients were successfully treated with OPAT at medical respite. Readmission rate was 30%. The average length of OPAT was 22 days. The cost savings to our institution (using $1500/day inpatient cost) was $25,000 per episode of OPAT.

Conclusions: OPAT can be successful in a supervised medical respite setting for homeless patients with the help of a multidisciplinary team, and can decrease inpatient LOS resulting in cost savings. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2016;11:531-535. © 2016 Society of Hospital Medicine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care*
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cost Savings / economics
  • Female
  • Health Facilities / economics
  • Homeless Persons*
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Infusions, Parenteral / methods*
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Anti-Infective Agents