CJEM Visual Abstract: The cost of In- vs Out-patient antibiotic therapy

In Featured, Infographics by Rebecca SeligaLeave a Comment

In this issue, we collaborated with the CJEM team to create a visual abstract on the article “Outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy (OPAT) and inpatient treatment strategies for emergency department patients with cellulitis: a cost analysis”.​1​

Skin and soft tissue infections in the ED almost always equals antibiotic prescription. Depending on severity and patient characteristics, the question is whether oral or intravenous (IV) administration is required, and patients receiving IV antibiotics for these infections are often hospitalized to facilitate their administration. While this seems like a simple, safe conclusion, is it really the most cost-effective?

The authors of this paper compared the cost of inpatient treatment for ED patients with cellulitis to two outpatient alternatives: OPAT by having the patient regularly return to the ED, and OPAT by referring the patient to a clinic where IV antibiotics can be administered.

They found that the return-to-ED strategy was the least expensive option, but both outpatient strategies were significantly less expensive than hospital admission. OPAT strategies were also safe, with a low level of adverse events and treatment failure. Overall, it can be said that OPAT strategies for patients presenting to the ED with cellulitis are both safe and cost-effective.

  1. 1.
    Yadav K, Kumar S, Chhabra S, et al. Outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy (OPAT) and inpatient treatment strategies for emergency department patients with cellulitis: a cost analysis. Can J Emerg Med. Published online June 8, 2022. doi:10.1007/s43678-022-00320-1

This post was copy-edited by Samuel Wilson (@sam_wilson95)

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Rebecca Seliga

Rebecca Seliga

Rebecca Seliga is a first year emergency medicine FRCPC resident in the University of Ottawa. Her interests include inner city health, addiction medicine, medical education, and hiking up various mountains.
Samuel Wilson

Samuel Wilson

Sam is a second-year Emergency Medicine FRCPC resident at The Ottawa Hospital. He is the CanadiEM CJEM Infographic editor, interested in PoCUS, medical teaching, knowledge dissemination, and all things chess.
Samuel Wilson
- 1 year ago