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While previous work showed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention toolkit for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) can reduce spread regionally, these interventions are costly, and decisions makers want to know whether and when economic benefits occur.
Orange County, California
Using our Regional Healthcare Ecosystem Analyst (RHEA)-generated agent-based model of all inpatient healthcare facilities, we simulated the implementation of the CRE toolkit (active screening of interfacility transfers) in different ways and estimated their economic impacts under various circumstances.
Compared to routine control measures, screening generated cost savings by year 1 when hospitals implemented screening after identifying ≤20 CRE cases (saving $2,000–$9,000) and by year 7 if all hospitals implemented in a regional coordinated manner after 1 hospital identified a CRE case (hospital perspective). Cost savings was achieved only if hospitals independently screened after identifying 10 cases (year 1, third-party payer perspective). Cost savings was achieved by year 1 if hospitals independently screened after identifying 1 CRE case and by year 3 if all hospitals coordinated and screened after 1 hospital identified 1 case (societal perspective). After a few years, all strategies cost less and have positive health effects compared to routine control measures; most strategies generate a positive cost-benefit each year.
Active screening of interfacility transfers garnered cost savings in year 1 of implementation when hospitals acted independently and by year 3 if all hospitals collectively implemented the toolkit in a coordinated manner. Despite taking longer to manifest, coordinated regional control resulted in greater savings over time.
To explore the economic impact to a hospital of universal methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) screening.
We used a decision tree model to estimate the direct economic impact to an individual hospital of starting universal MRSA screening and contact precautions. Projected costs and benefits were based on literature-derived data. Our model examined outcomes of several strategies including non-nares MRSA screening and comparison of culture versus polymerase chain reaction–based screening.
Under baseline conditions, the costs of universal MRSA screening and contact precautions outweighed the projected benefits generated by preventing MRSA-related infections, resulting in economic costs of $104,000 per 10,000 admissions (95% CI, $83,000–$126,000). Cost-savings occurred only when the model used estimates at the extremes of our key parameters. Non-nares screening and polymerase chain reaction–based testing, both of which identified more MRSA-colonized persons, resulted in more MRSA infections averted but increased economic costs of the screening program.
We found that universal MRSA screening, although providing potential benefit in preventing MRSA infection, is relatively costly and may be economically burdensome for a hospital. Policy makers should consider the economic burden of MRSA screening and contact precautions in relation to other interventions when choosing programs to improve patient safety and outcomes.
While the persistence of high surgical site infection (SSI) rates has prompted the advent of more expensive sutures that are coated with antimicrobial agents to prevent SSIs, the economic value of such sutures has yet to be determined.
Using TreeAge Pro, we developed a decision analytic model to determine the cost-effectiveness of using antimicrobial sutures in abdominal incisions from the hospital, third-party payer, and societal perspectives. Sensitivity analyses systematically varied the risk of developing an SSI (range, 5%–20%), the cost of triclosan-coated sutures (range, $5–$25/inch), and triclosan-coated suture efficacy in preventing infection (range, 5%–50%) to highlight the range of costs associated with using such sutures.
Triclosan-coated sutures saved $4,109–$13,975 (hospital perspective), $4,133–$14,297 (third-party payer perspective), and $40,127–$53,244 (societal perspective) per SSI prevented, when a surgery had a 15% SSI risk, depending on their efficacy. If the SSI risk was no more than 5% and the efficacy in preventing SSIs was no more than 10%, triclosan-coated sutures resulted in extra expenditure for hospitals and third-party payers (resulting in extra costs of $1,626 and $1,071 per SSI prevented for hospitals and third-party payers, respectively; SSI risk, 5%; efficacy, 10%).
Our results suggest that switching to triclosan-coated sutures from the uncoated sutures can both prevent SSIs and save substantial costs for hospitals, third-party payers, and society, as long as efficacy in preventing SSIs is at least 10% and SSI risk is at least 10%.
Implementation of contact precautions in nursing homes to prevent methicillm-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) transmission could cost time and effort and may have wide-ranging effects throughout multiple health facilities. Computational modeling could forecast the potential effects and guide policy making.
All hospitals and nursing homes in Orange County, California.
Our simulation model compared the following 3 contact precaution strategies: (1) no contact precautions applied to any nursing home residents, (2) contact precautions applied to those with clinically apparent MRSA infections, and (3) contact precautions applied to all known MRSA carriers as determined by MRSA screening performed by hospitals.
Our model demonstrated that contact precautions for patients with clinically apparent MRSA infections in nursing homes resulted in a median 0.4% (range, 0%–1.6%) relative decrease in MRSA prevalence in nursing homes (with 50% adherence) but had no effect on hospital MRSA prevalence, even 5 years after initiation. Implementation of contact precautions (with 50% adherence) in nursing homes for all known MRSA carriers was associated with a median 14.2% (range, 2.1%–21.8%) relative decrease in MRSA prevalence in nursing homes and a 2.3% decrease (range, 0%–7.1%) in hospitals 1 year after implementation. Benefits accrued over time and increased with increasing compliance.
Our modeling study demonstrated the substantial benefits of extending contact precautions in nursing homes from just those residents with clinically apparent infection to all MRSA carriers, which suggests the benefits of hospitals and nursing homes sharing and coordinating information on MRSA surveillance and carriage status.
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