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Surgical site infections (SSIs) are common surgical complications that lead to increased costs. Depending on payer type, however, they do not necessarily translate into deficits for every hospital.
We investigated how surgical site infections (SSIs) influence the contribution margin in 2 reimbursement systems based on diagnosis-related groups (DRGs).
This preplanned observational health cost analysis was nested within a Swiss multicenter randomized controlled trial on the timing of preoperative antibiotic prophylaxis in general surgery between February 2013 and August 2015. A simulation of cost and income in the National Health Service (NHS) England reimbursement system was conducted.
Of 5,175 patients initially enrolled, 4,556 had complete cost and income data as well as SSI status available for analysis. SSI occurred in 228 of 4,556 of patients (5%). Patients with SSIs were older, more often male, had higher BMIs, compulsory insurance, longer operations, and more frequent ICU admissions. SSIs led to higher hospital cost and income. The median contribution margin was negative in cases of SSI. In SSI cases, median contribution margin was Swiss francs (CHF) −2045 (IQR, −12,800 to 4,848) versus CHF 895 (IQR, −2,190 to 4,158) in non-SSI cases. Higher ASA class and private insurance were associated with higher contribution margins in SSI cases, and ICU admission led to greater deficits. Private insurance had a strong increasing effect on contribution margin at the 10th, 50th (median), and 90th percentiles of its distribution, leading to overall positive contribution margins for SSIs in Switzerland. The NHS England simulation with 3,893 patients revealed similar but less pronounced effects of SSI on contribution margin.
Depending on payer type, reimbursement systems with DRGs offer only minor financial incentives to the prevention of SSI.
To evaluate the feasibility of implementation of the refined window for routine antimicrobial prophylaxis (RAP) of 30-74 minutes before skin incision compared to the World Health Organization (WHO) standard of 0-60 minutes.
Prospective study on timing of routine antimicrobial prophylaxis in 2 different time periods.
Tertiary referral university hospital with 30,000 surgical procedures per year.
In all consecutive vascular, visceral, and trauma procedures, the timing was prospectively recorded during a first time period of 2 years (A; baseline) and a second period of 1 year (B; after intervention). An intensive intervention program was initiated after baseline. The primary outcome parameter was timing; the secondary outcome parameter was surgical site infection (SSI) rate in the subgroup of patients undergoing cholecystectomy/colon resection.
During baseline time period A (3,836 procedures), RAP was administered 30–74 minutes before skin incision in 1,750 (41.0%) procedures; during time period B (1,537 procedures), it was administered in 914 (56.0%; P < .001). The subgroup analysis did not reveal a significant difference in SSI rate.
This bundle of interventions resulted in a statistically significant improvement of timing of RAP even at a shortened window compared to the WHO standard.
Research has shown 1.5 minutes of surgical hand antisepsis with alcohol-based hand rub to be at least as effective under experimental conditions as the 3-minute reference disinfection recommended by European Norm 12791. The aim of the present study was to validate the effectiveness of 1.5 minutes of surgical hand antisepsis in a clinical setting by comparing the effectiveness of 1.5- and 3-minute applications of alcohol-based hand rub (45% vol/vol 2-propanol, 30% vol/vol 1-propanol, and 0.2% mecetronium ethylsulphate).
Prospective crossover trial in which each surgeon served as his or her own control, with individual randomization to the 1.5-or the 3-minute group during the first part of the trial.
Basel University Hospital, Switzerland.
Thirty-two surgeons with different levels of postdoctoral training.
We measured the bactericidal effectiveness of 1.5 minutes and 3 minutes of surgical hand antisepsis with alcohol-based hand rub by assessing the mean (± SD) log10 number of colony-forming units before the application of hand rub (baseline), after the application of hand rub (immediate effect), and after surgery (sustained effect) so as to follow European Norm 12791 as closely as possible.
The immediate mean (± SD) log10 reduction in colony-forming units (cfu) was 2.66 ±1.13 log10 cfu for the 1.5-minute group and 3.01 ±1.06 log10 cfu for the 3-minute group (P = .204). Similarly, there was no statistically significant difference between the 2 groups with respect to the sustained effect; the mean ( ± SD) log10 increase in bacterial density during surgery was 1.08 ± 1.13 log10 cfu for the 1.5-minute group and 0.95 ± 1.27 log10 cfu for the 3-minute group (P = .708). No adverse effects were recorded.
In this clinical trial, surgical hand antisepsis with alcohol-based hand rub resulted in a similar bacterial reduction, regardless of whether it was applied for 3 or 1.5 minutes, which confirms experimental data generated with healthy volunteers.
To quantify the economic burden of in-hospital surgical site infections (SSIs) at a European university hospital.
Matched case-control study nested in a prospective observational cohort study.
Basel University Hospital in Switzerland, where an average of 28,000 surgical procedures are performed per year.
All in-hospital occurrences of SSI associated with surgeries performed between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2001, by the visceral, vascular, and traumatology divisions at Basel University Hospital were prospectively recorded. Each case patient was matched to a control patient by age, procedure code, and National Nosocomial Infection Surveillance System risk index. The case-control pairs were analyzed for differences in cost of hospital care and in provision of specialized care.
A total of 6,283 procedures were performed:187 SSIs were detected in inpatients, 168 of whom were successfully matched with a control patient. For case patients, the mean additional hospital cost was SwF19,638 (95% confidence interval [CI], SwF8,492–SwF30,784); the mean additional postoperative length of hospital stay was 16.8 days (95% CI, 13–20.6 days); and the mean additional in-hospital duration of antibiotic therapy was 7.4 days (95% CI, 5.1–9.6 days). Differences were primarily attributable to organ space SSIs (n = 76).
Ina European university hospital setting, SSIs are costly and constitute a heavy and potentially preventable burden on both patients and healthcare providers.
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