Antibiotic Use in Home Health: A Primer

Document Type


Publication Date



Cost containment measures within hospital systems push for earlier discharges on stable patients. Due to patient placement difficulties and costs associated with skilled facilities, antibiotic use in home health care settings is becoming a common occurrence. This trend will likely increase as care continues to shift to outpatient areas. Lack of sufficient serum drug concentrations needed in severe infections and increasing resistance to many of the oral options often necessitates the use of the intravenous (IV) route. Home health care practitioners may have minimal information on patients or limited experience with IV antibiotics that may impact quality of care. This review summarizes key points relevant to IV antibiotics routinely used by home health prescribers, nurses, technicians, and care managers. This review will focus on antibacterial agents including vancomycin, aminoglycosides, beta-lactams, daptomycin, tigecycline, and telavancin. Appropriate dosing, indications, adverse events, monitoring parameters, and feasibility of using IV antibiotics are discussed.