Doha, 19 January, 2020: Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Communicable Disease Center (CDC) has launched a new outpatient service to improve the care provided to patients receiving intravenous antimicrobial therapy.
The new Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy (OPAT) service enables patients requiring intravenous antibiotics over a sustained period to receive their therapy in an outpatient setting, rather than as an inpatient in the hospital.
“The introduction of this new service significantly improves the quality of healthcare services we can deliver to patients at the Communicable Disease Center,” said Dr. Muna Al Maslamani, Medical Director of the CDC.
“Many of our patients require intravenous antimicrobial therapy to treat a range of infections, including pneumonia, skin and soft tissue infections, uncomplicated UTI bacteremia, and meningitis. The primary benefit of the new OPAT service is that it allows the patient to be discharged from hospital sooner, enabling them to continue their treatment plan as an outpatient,” added Dr. Al Maslamani.
The OPAT service operates seven days a week and is staffed by a multi-disciplinary team that involves the patient and their family in the decision-making process. The multi-disciplinary team includes physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and patient educators from the CDC.
“OPAT is considered the best practice treatment option worldwide for a wide range of infections and the introduction of this new service to the CDC brings the hospital in line with the very best healthcare providers internationally,” explained Dr. Al Maslamani.
In addition to enhancing the patient experience by enabling patients to continue their treatment in the outpatient setting, the new OPAT service will reduce the average length of stay for patients in the CDC, as patients can be discharged sooner to continue their treatment as outpatients. This will result in a faster and more efficient process for patients requiring admission to the hospital.
“Since opening in 2016, we have continuously expanded the range and quality of services we provide to patients at the CDC. In 2018, there was a 20 percent increase in the number of outpatient clinical visits at the hospital, compared to 2017, while the number of admitted patients increased by more than 50 percent. The launch of the OPAT service is a prime example of how the CDC is leading the way in the care, prevention, and research of communicable diseases in Qatar,” stated Dr. Al Maslamani.