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Ebola Preparedness Resources for Acute-Care Hospitals in the United States: A Cross-Sectional Study of Costs, Benefits, and Challenges

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 March 2017

Michael A. Smit
Affiliation:
Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island Department of Epidemiology and Infection Control, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island
Kenneth A. Rasinski
Affiliation:
The Joint Commission, Oak Brook, Illinois
Barbara I. Braun
Affiliation:
The Joint Commission, Oak Brook, Illinois
Linda L. Kusek
Affiliation:
The Joint Commission, Oak Brook, Illinois
Aaron M. Milstone
Affiliation:
Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland Department of Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland
Daniel J. Morgan
Affiliation:
Veterans Affairs Maryland Healthcare System, Baltimore, Maryland University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland
Leonard A. Mermel*
Affiliation:
Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island Department of Epidemiology and Infection Control, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island
*
Address correspondence to Dr Leonard Mermel, Department of Epidemiology and Infection Control, Rhode Island Hospital, 593 Eddy St, Providence, RI 02903 (lmermel@lifespan.org).

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To assess resource allocation and costs associated with US hospitals preparing for the possible spread of the 2014–2015 Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic in the United States.

METHODS

A survey was sent to a stratified national probability sample (n=750) of US general medical/surgical hospitals selected from the American Hospital Association (AHA) list of hospitals. The survey was also sent to all children’s general hospitals listed by the AHA (n=60). The survey assessed EVD preparation supply costs and overtime staff hours. The average national wage was multiplied by labor hours to calculate overtime labor costs. Additional information collected included challenges, benefits, and perceived value of EVD preparedness activities.

RESULTS

The average amount spent by hospitals on combined supply and overtime labor costs was $80,461 (n=133; 95% confidence interval [CI], $56,502–$104,419). Multivariate analysis indicated that small hospitals (mean, $76,167) spent more on staff overtime costs per 100 beds than large hospitals (mean, $15,737; P<.0001). The overall cost for acute-care hospitals in the United States to prepare for possible EVD cases was estimated to be $361,108,968. The leading challenge was difficulty obtaining supplies from vendors due to shortages (83%; 95% CI, 78%–88%) and the greatest benefit was improved knowledge about personal protective equipment (89%; 95% CI, 85%–93%).

CONCLUSIONS

The financial impact of EVD preparedness activities was substantial. Overtime cost in smaller hospitals was >3 times that in larger hospitals. Planning for emerging infectious disease identification, triage, and management should be conducted at regional and national levels in the United States to facilitate efficient and appropriate allocation of resources in acute-care facilities.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2017;38:405–410

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
© 2017 by The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. All rights reserved 

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Footnotes

PREVIOUS PRESENTATION: The preliminary results of this work were presented at the 2016 Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America National Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, May 18–21, 2016.

References

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