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Economics and Preventing Hospital‐Acquired Infection: Broadening the Perspective
Nicholas Graves , PhD, Kate Halton , MSc and David Lairson , PhD
Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
Vol. 28, No. 2 (February 2007), pp. 178-184
Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/510787
Page Count: 7
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Objective. To present a hypothetical model of the change in economic costs and health benefits to society that result from nosocomial infection control programs. Design. We use a modeling framework to represent how 2 types of costs change with nosocomial infection control programs: costs incurred by the hospital sector and community health services, as well as the private costs to patients. We also demonstrate how to value the health benefits of nosocomial infection control programs, using quality‐adjusted life years. Setting. Hypothetical modeling to incorporate the societal perspective. Subjects. A cohort of 50,000 simulated patients at risk of surgical site infection following total hip replacement. Intervention(s). A total of 8 hypothetical interventions that change costs and health outcomes among the cohort by preventing cases of surgical site infection following total hip replacement. Results and Conclusions. We demonstrate that when infection control interventions reduce economic costs and increase health benefits, they should be adopted without further question. If, however, interventions increase economic costs and increase health benefits, then the trade-off between costs and benefits should be examined. Decision‐makers should assess the cost per unit of health benefit from infection control programs, consider the impact on health budgets, and compare infection control with alternative uses of scarce healthcare resources.
© 2007 by The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. All rights reserved.