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Human factors approaches to evaluating outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy services: a systematic review.

Bugeja, Sara Jo; Stewart, Derek; Strath, Alison; Vosper, Helen


Sara Jo Bugeja

Derek Stewart

Alison Strath

Helen Vosper


Background: The expansion in terms of available treatment options and models of care has led to a growing global momentum for outpatient antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) services. A systematic review was undertaken to explore Human Factors aspects relating to OPAT service delivery and to evaluate whether OPAT is amenable to description using the Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety (SEIPS 2.0) model. Method: Following a preliminary search, a search string was applied to four databases, including Medline, Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts and PsychINFO. Inclusion criteria ensured only articles published after the year 2000 and written in English were accepted. The methodological quality of studies was assessed by three reviewers. Narrative synthesis was performed to uncover the key interactions between work system entities which underpin OPAT processes and outcomes as described using the SEIPS 2.0 model. Results: A total of twenty-seven studies were deemed eligible for the final review. Of these, most described sample populations representative of the population under study, while duration of the studies varied from a few months to years. Some studies evaluated a single model of care whilst others evaluated all three currently available models. The breadth and scope of the studies included enabled extraction of rich Human Factors data describing barriers and enablers to service provision. Conclusion: OPAT is a service which offers significant benefits to both patients and care providers. These benefits include patient satisfaction and wellbeing, as well as financial performance. OPAT is a complex sociotechnical system, and a systems approach may offer the opportunity to enhance system design, maximising system performance. This review demonstrates that the service can be better understood using the SEIPS 2.0 model to identify key work system interactions that support performance.


BUGEJA, S.J., STEWART, D., STRATH, A. and VOSPER, H. 2020. Human factors approaches to evaluating outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy services: a systematic review. Research in social and administrative pharmacy [online], 16(5), pages 614-627. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 4, 2019
Online Publication Date Aug 5, 2019
Publication Date May 31, 2020
Deposit Date Aug 16, 2019
Publicly Available Date Aug 6, 2020
Journal Research in social and administrative pharmacy
Print ISSN 1551-7411
Electronic ISSN 1934-8150
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue 5
Pages 614-627
Keywords OPAT; Human factors; SEIPS model; Service delivery
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