This study examined the costs and outcomes of antibiotic intravenous (IV) therapy for individuals with cellulitis, focusing on a comparison between hospital versus home care locations. (Antibiotic IV therapy is the most commonly prescribed IV therapy in Canada, and cellulitis is a major reason for such prescriptions.) The initial goal of a randomized control trial proved to be unattainable. The study was modified to an observational cohort study design, which the author notes is more prone to bias. As well, in several instances a lack of adequate home care services meant that many people were treated through repeat visits to emergency departments rather than strictly at home. However, the study’s main findings showed that home care and emergency care cost about half of the care in hospital, afford patients a better quality of life, and result in fewer complications and higher rates of resolution of the cellulitis.
This project was supported by the Health Transition Fund, which was created in 1997 to provide support for evidence-based decision-making in health care reform by supporting pilot and evaluation projects which test innovative approaches to health care delivery. The views expressed herein do no necessarily represent the official policy of federal, provincial, or territorial governments.