Cost-benefit analysis of craniocerebral surgical site infection control in tertiary hospitals in China
Introduction: Surgical site infection (SSI) is one of the most common postoperative complications. This study aimed to determine the cost of SSIs and to evaluate whether SSI control can reduce medical costs under the current medical payment system and wage rates in China.
Methodology: Prospective surveillance of craniocerebral surgery was conducted between July 2009 and June 2012. SSI patients and non-SSI patients were matched with a ratio of 1:2. Terms such as medical costs and length of hospital stay were compared between the two groups. Based on the economic loss of hospital infection, which causes additional expenditures and a reduction in the number of patients treated, the benefits of hospital infection control were estimated. The costs of human resources and materials of hospital infection surveillance and control were also estimated. Finally, the cost-benefit rates in different medical contexts and with different SSI-case ratios were calculated.
Results: The incidence of SSIs in this study was 4%. SSIs significantly prolonged hospital stay by 11.75 days (95% CI: 6.24–22.52), increased medical costs by US $3,412.48 (95% CI: $1,680.65–$5,879.89). The direct economic loss was $114,903 in a 40-bed ward. The cost of implementing infection control in such a unit was calculated to be approximately $5,555.47
Conclusions: Under the current fee-for-service healthcare model in China, the control of SSIs can hardly yield direct economic benefits, but can yield social benefits. With the implementation of a total medical cost pre-payment system, SSI control will present a remarkable benefit-cost ratio for hospitals.
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