Increased physician awareness may decrease infection incidence, implant cost
Recently published results showed a decrease in craniotomy and ventricular shunt infection incidence, as well as significant cost savings, when physician awareness of these factors increased.
Nitin Agarwal, MD, and colleagues calculated a baseline infection incidence from May 2011 to April 2015 within the department of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Prior to the implementation of a protocol aimed at reducing skin bacterial burden before surgery, physicians were informed of individual, independently adjudicated craniotomy and ventricular shunt infection incidence and rankings among peers, as well as the costs for shunts and dural substitutes, and available alternatives.
Results showed a significant decrease in combined craniotomy and ventricular shunt infection incidence from 3.2% between May 2011 and April 2015 to 2.1% between May 2015 and April 2016. Researchers found preventing postoperative craniotomy infections and ventricular shunt infections yielded an average annual cost savings of $234,175 and $121,125, respectively. Total supply costs of both ventricular shunts and dural grafts significantly decreased, according to results, with a 26% decrease from $2,345 per procedure in fiscal year 2015 to $1,747 per procedure in fiscal year 2016 for ventricular shunts and a 54% decrease from $191 per procedure in fiscal year 2015 to $88 per procedure in fiscal year 2016 for dural grafts. Researchers noted all initiatives resulted in a total estimated annual savings of $567,062.
“Enhanced physician awareness should be considered as an effective intervention when attempting to improve the quality of care while containing cost in surgical patients,” Agarwal told Healio.com/Orthopedics. – by Casey Tingle
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.