Making it safe and convenient for patients to get intravenous antibiotics at home
At Tufts Medical Center, our goal is for you to get the right care, in the right place for you. That is why we created the OPAT Program for patients who need long-term intravenous antibiotics. Through this program, which stands for Outpatient Intravenous Antibiotic Therapy, you (or a family member) learn to administer your own antibiotics at home under the supervision of a visiting nurse. We coordinate your care and closely monitor your progress as if you were still in the hospital.
This effective program was established in 2009 for patients who are well enough to leave the hospital other than the need for intravenous antibiotics. Your doctor will talk with you about this option and whether it is right for you. The case manager who has been working with you during your hospital stay will help you find a visiting nurse and home infusion service and sort through insurance issues.
Patients who may be eligible include those who have a serious infectious disease that is under control but requires some weeks of intravenous therapy for cure.
While you are at home, your care will be overseen by the same team of highly qualified doctors who took care of you at Tufts Medical Center. They have years of experience in coordinating this program with the care they provide for your other medical conditions.
Coordinating care for your convenience
Before you leave the hospital, the doctors who have been overseeing your care here will work with you to develop a personalized long-term care plan. This plan will be shared with your visiting nurse and doctors or specialists who you see outside of the hospital.
We will teach you how to administer the antibiotics you need. During this time, we will answer all your questions and make sure you understand and are comfortable with what you need to do.
Once you return home, a dedicated program administrator will work with your visiting nurse to ensure that you are getting all of the tests you need to monitor such things as your kidney and liver function. The administrator will make sure that the lab results are forwarded to your doctors here so they can watch your progress and quickly make any adjustments needed to your antibiotics.
We will also work with your home infusion provider to ensure that you are getting the correct antibiotics and that adjustments are made as necessary.
With this comprehensive, coordinated approach, you can be assured of getting the best care possible. We concentrate on all the details so you can concentrate on getting well.
Intravenous antibiotics at home
The type of antibiotic and the length of time you will require intravenous administration will depend on your specific condition. Your doctor will work with you to develop a plan before you leave the hospital.
Some patients will use a portable pump that continuously administers an even dose of antibiotics. Others will require therapy once or twice a day for up to an hour.
Patients generally remain in the program for two to four weeks, but may be in it for up to 12 weeks depending on their condition. Throughout your treatment, we are here for you to answer questions and to make sure you are getting the care you need.
Our OPAT program is carefully designed to ensure the safety of your patients as they receive intravenous antibiotic therapy in their homes, infusion centers or rehabilitation centers. Your patients will receive care that is tailored to meet their individual needs.
In order to manage this complex level of care, we work with visiting nurses to ensure that the appropriate tests are being performed and that the results get to the doctors who need to review them. We also work closely with home infusion providers to ensure that the right antibiotics are being delivered and that adjustments are made as needed.
Throughout our treatment of your patients, we stay in close contact with you so that you will know what care is being provided to your patients.