Intravenous to Oral Switch: Within Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy (IVOST) Course - The British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC)


2 locations available
Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description


Are you involved in the prescribing/administration of antibiotics? Explore the benefits and barriers of IVOST and COPAT.

Discover the principles and practices supporting IVOST and COPAT

The use of intravenous antimicrobials and complex oral antimicrobial regimes within outpatient clinical environments is helping with non-admission to and early discharge from hospital. The course will lead you through the principles underlying these therapies, how to determine their suitability and key practices for prescribers.

This course -by experts from the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy- is for healthcare workers who prescribe and administer antibiotics. It explores the benefits and barriers of IVOST and complex oral antimicrobial therapy in the context of an OPAT service.

What topics will you cover?

  • The principles of Intravenous to Oral Antibiotic Switch Therapy (IVOST) within the Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy (OPAT) setting; principles will apply to inpatient care too, but this will not be the focus.
  • How oral and complex oral antibiotics can be used in an Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy (OPAT) setting and the evolving entity of Complex (Outpatient) Oral and Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy (COPAT) services.
  • The key practice points for OPAT-based prescribers (e.g. route, choice, duration, recording of information).
  • When IVOST and/or complex oral antibiotic therapy is appropriate, and understand the benefits of early IVOST/complex oral antibiotic therapy and key considerations that determine the implementation of both in OPAT settings.

Who is this accredited by?

This course has been accredited by the RCPath for 12 CPD points.

Royal College of Pathologists: The Royal College of Pathologists is a professional membership organisation with charitable status, concerned with all matters relating to the science and practice of pathology.

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts.

  • Available now
  • 26 October 2020

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to:

  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of intravenous compared to oral antibiotic therapy.
  • Describe the principles of switching patients from intravenous to an oral antibiotic and the processes required to safely monitor therapy in the OPAT setting.
  • Evaluate the need for, and nature of, clinical governance of COPAT, to ensure high-quality service and how this can be applied to their location.
  • Describe the need for detailed patient assessment when switching from intravenous to oral therapy in the OPAT setting.
  • Explore the clinical complexity of monitoring complex oral parenteral antibiotic therapy in the outpatient setting (COPAT), the characteristics of antibiotics or antibiotic regimens that require enhanced outpatient monitoring and the key components.

Who is the course for?

Healthcare workers involved in the prescribing and administration of antibiotics. The course is set at final year medical student/1st year doctor/new specialist nurse/junior pharmacist level and should, therefore, appeal to a wide range of healthcare professionals.

What software or tools do you need?


Who will you learn with?

Gavin Barlow [Educator]

Gavin has been a consultant/hon. senior lecturer since 2004. Gavin’s main clinical interests are antimicrobial stewardship, orthopaedic infection, OPAT and complex bacterial infection.

Who developed the course?


Founded in 1971, the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy exists to facilitate the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge in the field of antimicrobial chemotherapy.

Join this course



$259.99 for one year

Join free and you will get:

  • Access to this course for 6 weeks

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  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • Access to this course’s tests as well as a print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible

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  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
  • The freedom to keep access to any course you've achieved a digital Certificate of Achievement on, for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn
  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year
Last updated Oct 2020

About the School

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Learn 100% online with world-class universities and industry experts. Develop your career, learn a new skill, or pursue your hobbies with flexible online courses. Read less
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