OPAT Expert Interview Digest


Serious bacterial infections place a heavy burden on healthcare systems that are already struggling to reduce costs while maintaining patient quality of care. In addition to the clinical consequences, there is a significant economic cost, mainly attributable to prolonged hospital length of stay. In this scenario, OPAT has been proven to be a safe and effective strategy in specific situations.

When used appropriately, OPAT may allow for earlier hospital discharge and give patients greater flexibility to safely return to a community-based setting, thereby improving healthcare resource utilization. OPAT services patients of all ages with complicated and difficult-to-treat infections (cellulitis, complicated UTI, community-acquired pneumonia, endocarditis, bacteremia, wound, bone, and intra-abdominal infections) and often presenting with comorbid conditions. While these patients originate mainly from hospitals, OPAT can also be considered for patients from outpatient surgical centers, nursing homes, and physician offices.

Upon completion, learners should be able to:

  • Discuss the clinical and economic benefits of OPAT in treating infectious diseases
  • Identify preferred patient characteristics when considering the use of OPAT
  • List the types of infections that may be treated with OPAT
  • Summarize approaches to minimize the potential for adverse events with OPAT

This activity is designed to meet the educational needs of physicians, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals involved in the provision of safe and effective OPAT.



Drs. Susan Rehm and Brett Heintz answer frequently asked questions on OPAT in order to increase awareness and provide clear and concise answers to current practices related to OPAT. This Expert Interview Digest is divided into twelve parts:

Part 1:    OPAT Background
Part 2:    Appropriate Use of OPAT
Part 3:    Clinical Assessment for OPAT
Part 4:    Delivery of OPAT
Part 5:    IDSA OPAT Guideline Recommendations
Part 6:    The Pharmacist's Perspective in OPAT
Part 7:    Tactics to Simplify the OPAT Plan
Part 8:    Evaluating the Patient on OPAT
Part 9:    Minimizing Adverse Events
Part 10:  Addressing the Barriers to OPAT
Part 11:  Developing an OPAT Program: The UCDMC Example
Part 12:  Summary


Photo of Dr Rehm Susan J. Rehm, MD, FACP, FIDSA
Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine
Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
  of Case Western Reserve University
Vice Chair, Department of Infectious Disease
Executive Director of Physician Health
Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland, Ohio
Photo of Dr Heintz Brett Heintz, PharmD, BCPS-ID
Assistant Professor of Clinical Pharmacy
UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy
Infectious Disease Clinical Pharmacist
UC Davis Medical Center
San Francisco, California
  Medical Interviewer
Marco P. Cicero, PhD
Senior Director, Scientific Affairs
Vemco MedEd, LLC
Bridgewater, New Jersey



This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through joint sponsorship of Center for Independent Healthcare Education (Center) and Vemco MedEd. Center designates this Enduring Material for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

ACPE logo Center for Independent Healthcare Education (Center)
is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. Center has assigned 1.5 contact hours (0.15 CEUs) for this activity.

ACPE Universal Activity Number: 473-999-11-009-H01-P
Type of Activity: Knowledge-based

Release Date: 10/25/2011
Credit Expiration Date: 10/25/2012 

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  • Review the entire CME/CE information including
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Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest
Center for Independent Healthcare Education requires faculty, planners, and others who are in a position to control the content of continuing education activities to disclose to the audience any real or apparent conflict of interest related to the activity. All identified conflicts of interest are reviewed and resolved to ensure fair balance, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all activities. The faculty is further required to disclose discussion of off-label uses in their presentations.

Disclosure: Faculty
Susan J. Rehm, MD, FACP, FIDSA
Advisory board: Pfizer and Merck
Other: Genentech (satellite media tour on influenza prevention and treatment)

Brett Heintz, PharmD, BCPS-ID
Nothing relevant to disclose

Disclosure: Medical Interviewer
Marco P. Cicero, PhD
Nothing relevant to disclose


Disclosure: Planning Committee Members
Paul DeLisle, employee of Center for Independent Healthcare Education - no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Marco Cicero, PhD employee of Vemco MedEd - no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Off-label Disclosure Statement
There is no discussion of off-label use of any product in this activity.

The opinions expressed in this educational activity are those of the faculty and do not reflect the views of Center for Independent Healthcare Education (Center) and Vemco MedEd. This educational activity may discuss off-label and/or investigational uses and dosages for therapeutic products/procedures that have not been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Center and Vemco MedEd do not recommend the use of any product/procedure outside of the labeled indications. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product/procedure discussed. Clinicians should verify all information and data before treating patients or employing any therapies described in this continuing education activity. Please refer to the prescribing information for each product/procedure for approved indication, contraindications, and warnings.

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This activity is supported by educational grants from Astellas Pharma Global Development, Inc. and Cubist Pharmaceuticals.

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Post Test and Evaluation