(1/2332) The influence of day of life in predicting the inpatient costs for providing care to very low birth weight infants.

The purpose of this study was to test, refine, and extend a statistical model that adjusts neonatal intensive care costs for a very low birth weight infant's day of life and birth weight category. Subjects were 62 infants with birth weights below 1,501 g who were born and cared for in a university hospital until discharged home alive. Subjects were stratified into 250-g birth weight categories. Clinical and actual daily room and ancillary-resource costs for each day of care of each infant were tabulated. Data were analyzed by using a nonlinear regression procedure specifying two separate for modeling. The modeling was performed with data sets that both included and excluded room costs. The former set of data were used for generating a model applicable for comparing interhospital performances and the latter for comparing interphysician performances. The results confirm the existence of a strong statistical relationship between an infant's day of life and both total hospital costs and the isolated costs for ancillary-resource alone (P < 0.0001). A refined series of statistical models have been generated that are applicable to the assessment of either interhospital or interphysician costs associated with providing inpatient care to very low birth weight infants.  (+info)

(2/2332) Description of local adaptation of national guidelines and of active feedback for rationalising preoperative screening in patients at low risk from anaesthetics in a French university hospital.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the effect of local adaptation of national guidelines combined with active feedback and organisational analysis on the ordering of preoperative investigations for patients at low risk from anaesthetics. DESIGN: Assessment of preoperative tests ordered over one month, before and after local adaptation of guidelines and feedback of results, combined with an organisational analysis. SETTING: Motivated anaesthetists in 15 surgical wards of Bordeaux University Hospital, Region Aquitain, France. SUBJECTS: 42 anaesthetists, 60 surgeons, and their teams. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Number and type of preoperative tests ordered in June 1993 and 1994, and the estimated savings. RESULTS: Of 536 patients at low risk from anaesthetics studied in 1993 before the intervention 80% had at least one preoperative test. Most (70%) tests were ordered by anaesthetists. Twice the number of preoperative tests were ordered than recommended by national guidelines. Organisational analysis indicated lack of organised consultations and communication within teams. Changes implemented included scheduling of anaesthetic consultations; regular formal multidisciplinary meetings for all staff; preoperative ordering decision charts. Of 516 low risk patients studied in 1994 after the intervention only 48% had one or more preoperative tests ordered (p < 0.05). Estimated mean (SD) saving for one year if changes were applied to all patients at low risk from anaesthesia in the hospital 3.04 (1.23) mFF. CONCLUSIONS: A sharp decrease in tests ordered in low risk patients was found. The likely cause was the package of changes that included local adaptation of national guidelines, feedback, and organisational change.  (+info)

(3/2332) Cost implications of selective preoperative risk screening in the care of candidates for peripheral vascular operations.

The preoperative identification that patients are at high risk for adverse postoperative outcomes is the first step toward preventing costly in-hospital complications. The economic implications of noninvasive screening strategies in the care of patients undergoing peripheral vascular operations must be clarified. A decision model was developed from the peer-reviewed literature on patients undergoing preoperative screening by means of dipyridamole myocardial perfusion imaging, dobutamine echocardiography, or cardiac catheterization before vascular operations (n = 23 studies). Routine versus selective screening strategies were compared for patients with an intermediate likelihood of having coronary artery disease on the basis of clinical history of coronary disease or typical symptoms. Median costs (1994 US dollars) of preoperative screening strategies were derived with two microcosting approaches: adjusted Medicare charges (top-down approach) and a bottom-up approach with Duke University Center direct cost estimate data. In-hospital cost was 11% higher for preoperative screening by means of routine cardiac catheterization ($27,760) than for routine pharmacologic stress imaging ($24,826, P = 0.001). The total cost of a do-nothing strategy, that is, no preoperative testing, was 5.9% less than that of routine preoperative pharmacologic stress imaging and 15.9% lower than that of cardiac catheterization (P = 0.001). Selective screening among patients with a history of coronary disease or typical angina resulted in further reduction of the cost of care to a level comparable with that of a do-nothing strategy (52.5% reduction in cost with pharmacologic stress imaging, P > 0.20). Use of noninvasive testing for preoperative risk stratification was cost effective for patients 60 to 80 years of age. Cost per life saved ranged from $33,338 to $21,790. However, coronary revascularization after an abnormal noninvasive test was cost effective only for patients older than 70 years. In this economic decision model, substantial cost savings were predicted when selective noninvasive stress imaging was added to preoperative screening for patients about to undergo vascular operations. With a selective screening approach, the economic impact of initial diagnostic testing may be minimized without compromising patient outcomes.  (+info)

(4/2332) Evaluating and improving the delivery of heart care: the University of Michigan experience.

With increasing pressure to curb escalating costs in medical care, there is particular emphasis on the delivery of cardiovascular services, which account for a substantial portion of the current healthcare dollar spent in the United States. A variety of tools were used to improve performance at the University of Michigan Health System, one of the oldest university-affiliated hospitals in the United States. The tools included initiatives to understand outcomes after coronary bypass operations and coronary angioplasty through use of proper risk-adjusted models. Critical pathways and guidelines were implemented to streamline care and improve quality in interventional cardiology, management of myocardial infarction, and preoperative assessment of patients undergoing vascular operations. Strategies to curb unnecessary costs included competitive bidding of vendors for expensive cardiac commodities, pharmacy cost reductions, and changes in nursing staff. Methods were instituted to improve guest services and partnerships with the community in disease prevention and health promotion.  (+info)

(5/2332) Outcome of pulmonary tuberculosis treatment in the tertiary care setting--Toronto 1992/93. Tuberculosis Treatment Completion Study Group.

BACKGROUND: Completion of treatment of active cases of tuberculosis (TB) is the most important priority of TB control programs. This study was carried out to assess treatment completion for active cases of pulmonary TB in Toronto. METHODS: Consecutive cases of culture-proven pulmonary TB were obtained from the microbiology laboratories of 5 university-affiliated tertiary care centres in Toronto in 1992/93. A standard data-collection tool was used to abstract information from inpatient and outpatient charts. For patients who were transferred to other treatment centres or lost to follow-up, the local health unit was contacted for information about treatment completion. If incomplete information was obtained from these sources, data from the provincial Reportable Disease Information System were also reviewed. The main outcome analysed was treatment outcome, with cases classified as completed (record of treatment completion noted), transferred (patient transferred to another centre but no treatment results available), defaulted (record of defaulting in patient chart but no record of treatment completion elsewhere, or patient still receiving treatment more than 15 months after diagnosis) or dead (patient died before treatment completion). RESULTS: Of the 145 patients 84 (58%) completed treatment, 25 (17%) died, 22 (15%) defaulted and 14 (10%) were transferred. The corresponding values for the 22 patients with HIV coinfection were 6 (27%), 5 (23%), 8 (36%) and 3 (14%). Independent predictors of failure to complete treatment were injection drug use (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 5.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.5 to 22.0), HIV infection (adjusted OR 4.6, 95% CI 1.4 to 14.7) and adverse drug reaction (adjusted OR 2.9, 95% CI 1.1 to 7.9). Independent predictors of death included age more than 50 years (adjusted OR 16.7, 95% CI 2.6 to 105.1), HIV infection (adjusted OR 16.1, 95% CI 3.9 to 66.4), immunosuppressive therapy (adjusted OR 8.0, 95% CI 1.9 to 34.4) and infection with a multidrug-resistant organism (adjusted OR 30.7, 95% CI 1.5 to 623.0). INTERPRETATION: Treatment completion rates in tertiary care hospitals in Toronto in 1992/93 were below the rate recommended by the World Health Organization. Careful surveillance of treatment completion is necessary for the management of TB in metropolitan centres in Canada.  (+info)

(6/2332) Direct costs of coronary artery bypass grafting in patients aged 65 years or more and those under age 65.

BACKGROUND: Over the past 20 years, there have been marked increases in rates of coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) among older people in Canada. The objectives of this study were to accurately estimate the direct medical costs of CABG in older patients (age 65 years or more) and to compare CABG costs for this age group with those for patients less than 65 years of age. METHODS: Direct medical costs were estimated from a sample of 205 older and 202 younger patients with triple-vessel or left main coronary artery disease who underwent isolated CABG at The Toronto Hospital, a tertiary care university-affiliated hospital, between Apr. 1, 1991, and Mar. 31, 1992. Costs are expressed in 1992 Canadian dollars from a third-party payer perspective. RESULTS: The mean costs of CABG in older and younger patients respectively were $16,500 and $15,600 for elective, uncomplicated cases, $23,200 and $19,200 for nonelective, uncomplicated cases, $29,200 and $20,300 for elective, complicated cases, and $33,600 and $23,700 for nonelective, complicated cases. Age remained a significant determinant of costs after adjustment for severity of heart disease and for comorbidity. Between 59% and 91% of the cost difference between older and younger patients was accounted for by higher intensive care unit and ward costs. INTERPRETATION: CABG was more costly in older people, especially in complicated cases, even after an attempt to adjust for severity of disease and comorbidity. Future studies should attempt to identify modifiable factors that contribute to longer intensive care and ward stays for older patients.  (+info)

(7/2332) The role of medical problems and behavioral risks in explaining patterns of prenatal care use among high-risk women.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the associations between maternal medical conditions and behavioral risks and the patterns of prenatal care use among high-risk women. DATA SOURCE/STUDY DESIGN: Data on over 25,000 high-risk deliveries to African American and white women using multinomial logistic regression to predict the odds of adequate-plus care relative to three other categories of care. DATA COLLECTION/EXTRACTION METHODS: Data were extracted from records maintained by the University of Florida/Shands Hospital maternity clinic on all deliveries between 1987 and 1994; records for white and for African American women were subset to examine racial differences in medical conditions, health behaviors, and patterns of prenatal care use. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Net of sociodemographic and fertility-related characteristics, African American and white women with late antepartum conditions and hypertension problems had significantly higher odds of receiving adequate-plus care, as well as no care or inadequate care, relative to adequate care. White women with gynecological disease and medical/surgical problems were significantly less likely to receive no care or inadequate care, as were African American women with gynecological disease. CONCLUSIONS: Maternal medical conditions explain much but not all of the adequate-plus prenatal care use. More than 13 percent of African American women and 20 percent of white women with no reported medical problems or behavioral risks used adequate-plus care. Additional research is needed to understand this excess use and its possibilities in mediating birth outcomes.  (+info)

(8/2332) Effects of education and support on self-care and resource utilization in patients with heart failure.

AIMS: To test the effect of education and support by a nurse on self-care and resource utilization in patients with heart failure. METHODS: A total of 179 patients (mean age 73, 58% male, NYHA III-IV) hospitalized with heart failure were evaluated prospectively. Patients were randomized to the study intervention or to 'care as usual'. The supportive educative intervention consisted of intensive, systematic and planned education by a study nurse about the consequences of heart failure in daily life, using a standard nursing care plan developed by the researchers for older patients with heart failure. Education and support took place during the hospital stay and at a home visit within a week of discharge. Data were collected on self-care abilities, self-care behaviour, readmissions, visits to the emergency heart centre and use of other health care resources. RESULTS: Education and support from a nurse in a hospital setting and at home significantly increases self-care behaviour in patients with heart failure. Patients from both the intervention and the control group increased their self-care behaviour within 1 month of discharge, but the increase in the intervention group was significantly more after 1 month. Although self-care behaviour in both groups decreased during the following 8 months, the increase from baseline remained statistically significant in the intervention group, but not in the control group. No significant effects on resource utilization were found. CONCLUSIONS: Intensive, systematic, tailored and planned education and support by a nurse results in an increase in patients' self-care behaviour. No significant effects were found on use of health care resources. Additional organisational changes, such as longer follow-up and the availability of a heart failure specialist would probably enhance the effects of education and support.  (+info)