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Hospital-acquired infections in Belgian acute-care hospitals: financial burden of disease and potential cost savings

(2013) ACTA CLINICA BELGICA. 68(3). p.199-205
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Abstract
Introduction: Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) are considered to be one of the most serious patient safety issues in healthcare today. It has been shown that HAIs contribute significantly not only to morbidity and mortality, but also to excessive costs for the health care system and for hospitalized patients. Since possibilities of prevention and control exist, hospital quality can be improved while simultaneously the cost of care is reduced. The objectives of this study were to examine the prevalence and the excess costs associated with HAIs. Methods: A retrospective observational study was performed to estimate costs associated with hospital-acquired infections in Belgian hospitals, both in procedural admissions and in medical admissions. Hospital, diagnosis-related group, age and gender were used as matching factors to compare stays associated with HAIs and stays without HAIs. Data were obtained from the Minimum Basic Data Set 2008 used by Belgian hospitals to register case-mix data for each admission to obtain reimbursement from the authorities. Data included information from 45 hospitals representing 16,141 beds and 2,467,698 patient stays. Using the 2008 national feedback programme of the Belgian government, cost data were collected (prolonged length of stay, additional pharmaceuticals and procedures) and subsequently linked to the data set. By means of a sensitivity analysis we estimated potential monetary savings when a reduction in the incidence of HAIs in hospitals having a higher rate of hospital-acquired infections in comparison to other hospitals would be realized. Results: In our sample 5.9% of the hospital stays were associated with a hospital-acquired infection. In the procedural admission subset this was the case for 4.7% of the hospital stays. The additional mean cost of the hospital-acquired infection was (sic) 2,576 for all stays (P < 0.001) and (sic) 3,776 for procedural stays (P < 0.001). The total burden of disease in Belgium is estimated at (sic) 533,076,110 for all admissions and (sic) 235,667,880 for the subset of procedural admissions. The excess length of stay varied between hospitals from 2.52 up to 8.06 days (Md 4.58, SD 1.01), representing an associated cost of (sic) 355,060,174 (66,61% of the total cost). The cost of additional medical procedures and additional pharmaceutical products was estimated at (sic) 62,864,544 (11.97%) and (sic) 115,151,939 (21.60%) respectively. Overall, our results showed that considerable variability between hospitals regarding the incidence of HAIs (3.77-9.78%) for all hospital stays is present, indicating a potential for improvement. We provide a full overview of the potential monetary savings when reductions in HAIs are realized by applying different thresholds. For instance, if all Belgian hospitals having a higher rate of hospital-acquired infections improve their rate to the level of the hospital corresponding to percentile 75 (= 7.5% HAI) savings would be (sic) 17,799,326. Conclusion: HAIs are associated with important additional healthcare costs. Although not all hospital-acquired infections can be prevented, an opportunity to increase cost-effectiveness of hospital care delivery presents itself. This study is the first to estimate the annual economic burden of HAIs for Belgium at a national level, incorporating all associated hospital costs. Apart from the fact that the cost of prolonged length of stay is of major importance, we have also shown that the cost of additional procedures and pharmaceutical products cannot be neglected when estimating the financial burden of HAIs.
Keywords
NOSOCOMIAL INFECTIONS, healthcare costs, hospital-acquired infection, pharmaceuticals, length of stay, health economics, burden of disease, LENGTH-OF-STAY, procedure, acute-care, MORTALITY, PROPORTION

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MLA
Trybou, Jeroen, Eric Spaepen, Bart Vermeulen, et al. “Hospital-acquired Infections in Belgian Acute-care Hospitals: Financial Burden of Disease and Potential Cost Savings.” ACTA CLINICA BELGICA 68.3 (2013): 199–205. Print.
APA
Trybou, J., Spaepen, E., Vermeulen, B., Porrez, L., & Annemans, L. (2013). Hospital-acquired infections in Belgian acute-care hospitals: financial burden of disease and potential cost savings. ACTA CLINICA BELGICA, 68(3), 199–205.
Chicago author-date
Trybou, Jeroen, Eric Spaepen, Bart Vermeulen, Lieve Porrez, and Lieven Annemans. 2013. “Hospital-acquired Infections in Belgian Acute-care Hospitals: Financial Burden of Disease and Potential Cost Savings.” Acta Clinica Belgica 68 (3): 199–205.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Trybou, Jeroen, Eric Spaepen, Bart Vermeulen, Lieve Porrez, and Lieven Annemans. 2013. “Hospital-acquired Infections in Belgian Acute-care Hospitals: Financial Burden of Disease and Potential Cost Savings.” Acta Clinica Belgica 68 (3): 199–205.
Vancouver
1.
Trybou J, Spaepen E, Vermeulen B, Porrez L, Annemans L. Hospital-acquired infections in Belgian acute-care hospitals: financial burden of disease and potential cost savings. ACTA CLINICA BELGICA. 2013;68(3):199–205.
IEEE
[1]
J. Trybou, E. Spaepen, B. Vermeulen, L. Porrez, and L. Annemans, “Hospital-acquired infections in Belgian acute-care hospitals: financial burden of disease and potential cost savings,” ACTA CLINICA BELGICA, vol. 68, no. 3, pp. 199–205, 2013.
@article{4117883,
  abstract     = {{Introduction: Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) are considered to be one of the most serious patient safety issues in healthcare today. It has been shown that HAIs contribute significantly not only to morbidity and mortality, but also to excessive costs for the health care system and for hospitalized patients. Since possibilities of prevention and control exist, hospital quality can be improved while simultaneously the cost of care is reduced. The objectives of this study were to examine the prevalence and the excess costs associated with HAIs. 
Methods: A retrospective observational study was performed to estimate costs associated with hospital-acquired infections in Belgian hospitals, both in procedural admissions and in medical admissions. Hospital, diagnosis-related group, age and gender were used as matching factors to compare stays associated with HAIs and stays without HAIs. Data were obtained from the Minimum Basic Data Set 2008 used by Belgian hospitals to register case-mix data for each admission to obtain reimbursement from the authorities. Data included information from 45 hospitals representing 16,141 beds and 2,467,698 patient stays. Using the 2008 national feedback programme of the Belgian government, cost data were collected (prolonged length of stay, additional pharmaceuticals and procedures) and subsequently linked to the data set. By means of a sensitivity analysis we estimated potential monetary savings when a reduction in the incidence of HAIs in hospitals having a higher rate of hospital-acquired infections in comparison to other hospitals would be realized. 
Results: In our sample 5.9% of the hospital stays were associated with a hospital-acquired infection. In the procedural admission subset this was the case for 4.7% of the hospital stays. The additional mean cost of the hospital-acquired infection was (sic) 2,576 for all stays (P < 0.001) and (sic) 3,776 for procedural stays (P < 0.001). The total burden of disease in Belgium is estimated at (sic) 533,076,110 for all admissions and (sic) 235,667,880 for the subset of procedural admissions. The excess length of stay varied between hospitals from 2.52 up to 8.06 days (Md 4.58, SD 1.01), representing an associated cost of (sic) 355,060,174 (66,61% of the total cost). The cost of additional medical procedures and additional pharmaceutical products was estimated at (sic) 62,864,544 (11.97%) and (sic) 115,151,939 (21.60%) respectively. Overall, our results showed that considerable variability between hospitals regarding the incidence of HAIs (3.77-9.78%) for all hospital stays is present, indicating a potential for improvement. We provide a full overview of the potential monetary savings when reductions in HAIs are realized by applying different thresholds. For instance, if all Belgian hospitals having a higher rate of hospital-acquired infections improve their rate to the level of the hospital corresponding to percentile 75 (= 7.5% HAI) savings would be (sic) 17,799,326. 
Conclusion: HAIs are associated with important additional healthcare costs. Although not all hospital-acquired infections can be prevented, an opportunity to increase cost-effectiveness of hospital care delivery presents itself. This study is the first to estimate the annual economic burden of HAIs for Belgium at a national level, incorporating all associated hospital costs. Apart from the fact that the cost of prolonged length of stay is of major importance, we have also shown that the cost of additional procedures and pharmaceutical products cannot be neglected when estimating the financial burden of HAIs.}},
  author       = {{Trybou, Jeroen and Spaepen, Eric and Vermeulen, Bart and Porrez, Lieve and Annemans, Lieven}},
  issn         = {{0001-5512}},
  journal      = {{ACTA CLINICA BELGICA}},
  keywords     = {{NOSOCOMIAL INFECTIONS,healthcare costs,hospital-acquired infection,pharmaceuticals,length of stay,health economics,burden of disease,LENGTH-OF-STAY,procedure,acute-care,MORTALITY,PROPORTION}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{3}},
  pages        = {{199--205}},
  title        = {{Hospital-acquired infections in Belgian acute-care hospitals: financial burden of disease and potential cost savings}},
  volume       = {{68}},
  year         = {{2013}},
}

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