Infect Chemother.  2023 Jun;55(2):185-193. 10.3947/ic.2022.0092.

Current Status of Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy in Korea: Experience of a Single University-Affiliated Acute-Care Hospital

  • 1Department of Pharmacy, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea
  • 2Department of Pharmacy, Yeungnam University Medical Center, Daegu, Korea
  • 3College of Pharmacy & Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
  • 4Department of Internal Medicine, Soon Chun Hyang University Hospital Seoul, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 5Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seongnam, Korea


Systematic protocols for the management of outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) and information on the current status of a prescription of parenteral antibiotics for outpatients and referred patients are lacking in the Korea. This study aimed to describe the current status of OPAT at a tertiary care hospital in Korea.
Materials and Methods
This was a retrospective study of outpatients and referral patients who were prescribed parenteral antibiotics from July to December 2019. We reviewed the prescribed antimicrobials, indications for antimicrobial therapy, institution administering the antimicrobial injections, and pre- and post-prescription management.
Of the 577 prescriptions assessed in this study, 399 (69.2%) and 178 (30.8%) were delivered using the referral and outpatient models, respectively. About 70% of OPATs were prescribed in the pulmonology, infectious diseases, orthopedics, gastroenterology, and hematology departments. Five antibiotics (ertapenem [26.0%], ceftriaxone [12.8%], kanamycin [11.8%], amikacin [10.1%], and cefazolin [8.5%]) accounted for 69.2% of the total OPATs. Urinary tract (27.3%), respiratory (20.8%), and intra-abdominal (15.9%) infections were the most frequent indications for OPAT. After prescription, there were 295 (73.9%) and 150 (84.3%) follow-up visits in the referral and outpatient models, respectively (P <0.05). Laboratory tests necessary for monitoring were fully performed for 274 (47.5%) prescriptions.
We found that a significant number of OPATs were prescribed, follow-up visits were not performed in the case of about a quarter of prescriptions, and laboratory monitoring was not fully conducted in more than half of the cases. Therefore, it is necessary to establish an appropriate management program for OPAT. Considering the limited resources and the distribution of OPAT prescriptions, an effective strategy may be to select the frequently-used antibiotics or frequently-prescribing departments and start the program with them.


Anti-bacterial agents; Antimicrobial stewardship; Prescriptions; Adverse drug reactions; Outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy
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