Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy

The Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy (OPAT) Program, part of the Division of Infectious Diseases at UI Health, allows patients to undergo intravenous (IV) antibiotic treatments at home, or a nursing home or rehabilitation facility.

The Infectious Diseases team will help decide if this type of treatment is right for each patient. Factors that influence if OPAT may be the right treatment include:

  • The type, location, and severity of the infection
  • The length of treatment needed
  • The patient’s ability and willingness to operate the devices necessary to self-administer the medication/the family support to assist with administration.

OPAT Treatment Options

When patients are discharged from UI Health on IV antibiotics, they will either do treatments at home or at a nursing home or rehabilitation facility:

At-Home OPAT Treatment

The OPAT team consists of:

  • Infectious disease physician
  • OPAT nurse
  • Outpatient infusion pharmacy (who will deliver the necessary antibiotics and supplies to the patient’s home)
  • Home health nurse

Patient education begins in the hospital or clinic setting and is reinforced by the home health nurse, who makes a home visit at least once each week. The patient’s lab values and overall condition are monitored closely by the infectious disease physician and OPAT nurse, even if they are receiving their treatment. Patients will be educated on complications that may occur with the medication administration and intravenous line and be made aware of reasons or when to contact the team.

Nursing/Rehab Facility

In this case, the OPAT team consists of

  • Infectious disease physician
  • OPAT nurse, who will be in communication with the medical staff at the facility

At the facility, nurses will administer the antibiotics. The required blood tests will be drawn at the facility and sent to UI Health. The OPAT team will be in constant contact with facility staff to coordinate care for the infection.

OPAT patients have 24-hour coverage 365 days a year. Most patients in the OPAT program will have follow-up care in the Family Center for Infectious Disease (Outpatient Care Center, Suite 3).

Treatment options and durations of treatment differ from patient to patient, but the ability for some to return home or to a familiar setting is preferred and has been shown to be beneficial. Some patients have even been able to return to normal activities and even return to work. Complications with OPAT are rare, and the OPAT team works to prevent occurrence.

Contact us

If you feel that OPAT may work for you or your patient, please contact us at 312.996.0664 or email OPAT@uic.edu.