A study between Silverchain and one of Perth’s leading tertiary hospitals that aims to improve health outcomes for home care patients has attracted international recognition.
The study involving Silverchain and Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) focused on a cohort of
patients with serious infections who receive intravenous antibiotics at home via a
treatment called Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy (OPAT). FSH also consulted
with other tertiary hospitals for the study, as required
A key part of the research identified risk factors that can contribute to these patients
developing the uncommon but potentially serious condition ‘ catheter-related thrombosis’
(CRT) while receiving intravenous antibiotics with OPAT.
The research study, titled ‘Risk factors for catheter-related thrombosis during outpatient
parenteral antimicrobial therapy’, was named in the top 10 OPAT studies in 2021 in a
recent journal article published by the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
The collaborative research project will not only improve health outcomes of home-cared
OPAT patients, but it will also reduce pressure on hospitals, with the OPAT home
service freeing up about 25 beds a day at Fiona Stanley Hospital alone.
Silverchain’s Hospital at the Home (HATH) Medical Director Dr Leena Patel said the
research would help reduce the risk of catheter-related thrombosis for OPAT patients.
“Giving care to patients in their home in a ‘virtual ward’ setting is becoming more
common, particularly in regard to Silverchain’s ever-increasing range of complex care in
the home services,” Dr Patel said.
“By identifying the risk factors of CRT for OPAT patients, our health care workers will be
better equipped to provide quality care for their patients.”
Dr Patel said Silverchain’s HATH nursing team had excelled in their collaborative work
with hospital staff, ensuring OPAT patients could access the best possible care in the comfort of their homes.
Fiona Stanley Hospital’s lead researcher infectious diseases consultant and
microbiologist Dr Paul Ingram said OPAT patients who met the risk factors were typically
able to still receive treatment at home with measures in place to manage their risk.
“However, we can now put measures in place to best manage at-risk patients, such as
adjusting medications, more frequent at-home nursing visits or using alternative types of
treatments where required,” Dr Ingram added.