OPAT / HITH Webinar on management of severe pulmonary infections

25 August 2020

The CRE REDUCE Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy (OPAT) and Hospital in the Home (HITH) Masterclass webinars commenced in March 2020. 

The first, on the management of severe pulmonary infections, was chaired by Professor Jason Roberts (The University of Queensland and Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital) and Dr Ben Rogers (Monash Health). Dr Rogers is an Infectious Diseases Physician who runs Australia’s largest hospital-based hospital in the home program with 200 beds over three different sites. In his presentation which can be found in this YouTube link, Dr Rogers described OPAT as the strict program of outpatient parenteral therapy, and HITH as the broader program of ‘hospital’ care outside of the hospital walls, including those under a medical model of care. Dr Rogers’ program functions as a general medical unit with consultants, registrars and residents, including allied health and other supports usually available in hospitals. The only difference is that patients are sleeping in their beds at home with their family. Complicated Outpatient antimicrobial therapy (COpAT) is a route-independent term and is a hybrid hospital-home model of care for patients who require closer monitoring. Dr Rogers highlighted the importance of OPAT / HITH in the face of COVID-19 pandemic challenges and helping maintain hospital capacity by caring for appropriate non-COVID patients in their own homes. Dr Rogers also discussed the potential role of HITH for caring for COVID-19 patients. He addressed some of the key reasons for treating pulmonary infections in the OPAT setting.

Presenters Dr Andrew Burke, Professor Claire Wainwright, Dr Geoff Eather and Ms Amy Legg shared their experience and perspectives on managing these serious infections. Prof Wainwright discussed multi-drug resistant infections in cystic fibrosis, and Dr Eather discussed the role of HITH in bronchiectasis and COPD. Dr Burke described the pharmacology of agents used to treat pulmonary infections, while Ms Legg provided insight into the patient experience of outpatient treatment of respiratory infections.

Over 70 participants attended the webinar and had the opportunity to ask questions of the panel of experts. Recordings of these webinars are available on the CRE REDUCE website, and on the CRE REDUCE YouTube Channel.