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Economic and organizational sustainability of a negative-pressure portable device for the prevention of surgical-site complications

Authors Foglia E, Ferrario L, Garagiola E, Signoriello G, Pellino G, Croce D, Canonico S

Received 18 November 2016

Accepted for publication 6 April 2017

Published 12 June 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 343—351


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Giorgio Lorenzo Colombo

Emanuela Foglia,1 Lucrezia Ferrario,1 Elisabetta Garagiola,1 Giuseppe Signoriello,2 Gianluca Pellino,3 Davide Croce,1,4 Silvestro Canonico3

1Centre for Health Economics, Social and Health Care Management - LIUC University, Castellanza, Italy; 2Department of Mental Health and Preventive Medicine, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Naples, Italy; 3School of Medicine, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Naples, Italy; 4School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South  Africa

Purpose: Surgical-site complications (SSCs) affect patients’ clinical pathway, prolonging their hospitalization and incrementing their management costs. The present study aimed to assess the economic and organizational implications of a portable device for negative-pressure wound therapy (NPWT) implementation, compared with the administration of pharmacological therapies alone for preventing surgical complications in patients undergoing general, cardiac, obstetrical–gynecological, or orthopedic surgical procedures.
Patients and methods: A total of 8,566 hospital procedures, related to the year 2015 from one hospital, were evaluated considering infection risk index, occurrence rates of SSCs, drug therapies, and surgical, diagnostic, and specialist procedures and hematological exams. Activity-based costing and budget impact analyses were implemented for the economic assessment.
Results: Patients developing an SSC absorbed i) 64.27% more economic resources considering the length of stay (€ 8,269±2,096 versus € 5,034±2,901, p<0.05) and ii) 42.43% more economic resources related to hematological and diagnostic procedures (€ 639±117 versus € 449±72, p<0.05). If the innovative device had been used over the 12-month time period, it would have decreased the risk of developing SSCs; the hospital would have realized an average reduction in health care expenditure equal to −0.69% (−€ 483,787.92) and an organizational saving in terms of length of stay equal to −1.10% (−898 days), thus allowing 95 additional procedures.
Conclusion: The implementation of a portable device for NPWT would represent an effective and sustainable strategy for reducing the management costs of patients. Economic and organizational savings could be reinvested, thus i) treating a wider population and ii) reducing waiting lists, with a higher effectiveness in terms of a decrease in complications.

Keywords: NPWT portable device, budget impact analysis, economic analysis, organizational advantage, Italy

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