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Pick of OPAT team with their 2022 Quality and Safety AwardThe Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy Program (OPAT) was recognized as one of four UNC Hospitals-wide winners of the 2022 Quality and Safety Awards. The honorees were recognized for their work at a ceremony with hospital leadership on June 13, 2023, as a part of the Medical Center Improvement Council meeting.

The UNC Hospitals Quality and Safety Awards are sponsored by Janet Hadar, UNC Hospitals President, and Dr. Tom Ivester, UNC Hospitals Chief Medical Officer.

The award-winning project, called Readmission Reductions in the UNCMC Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy (OPAT) Program, was led by Pharmacist Renae Boerneke. The program launched a readmission reduction initiative in October 2020 to shorten the interval between hospital discharge and infectious diseases (ID) follow-up appointments. The goal was to decrease readmissions while patients received home infusion antibiotics. Colleagues Claire Farel, Nikolaos Mavrogiorgos, Mary Catherine Bowman, Asher Schranz, Terre Oosterwyk, Corazon Halsey, Suzanne Rogers, Michael Swartwood, Emily Ciccone, and Julia Fabricio rounded out the project team.

By shortening the time between hospital discharge until the patient’s first follow-up appointment, the team hoped to identify and mitigate issues that contribute to readmission. As a result, the all-cause readmission rate for patients receiving OPAT decreased to 14% in 2022, from 22% in 2020.

The Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy Program (OPAT) began in 2016. Its objectives are to ensure safe and effective transitions of care for patients leaving UNC Hospitals on parenteral antibiotics by providing clinical monitoring and management for patients enrolled in OPAT.

Michael Swartwood contributed to this article. For more information on additional awardees: