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J Med Econ. 2013 Oct;16(10):1238-45. doi: 10.3111/13696998.2013.832256. Epub 2013 Sep 6.

Are labour-intensive efforts to prevent pressure ulcers cost-effective?

Author information

1
Danish Center for Health Care Improvement, Faculty of Social Sciences and Faculty of Health Sciences, Aalborg University , Aalborg , Denmark.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Pressure ulcers are a major problem in Danish healthcare with a prevalence of 13-43% among hospitalized patients. The associated costs to the Danish Health Care Sector are estimated to be €174.5 million annually. In 2010, The Danish Society for Patient Safety introduced the Pressure Ulcer Bundle (PUB) in order to reduce hospital-acquired pressure ulcers by a minimum of 50% in five hospitals. The PUB consists of evidence-based preventive initiatives implemented by ward staff using the Model for Improvement.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the cost-effectiveness of labour-intensive efforts to reduce pressure ulcers in the Danish Health Care Sector, comparing the PUB with standard care.

METHODS:

A decision analytic model was constructed to assess the costs and consequences of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers during an average hospital admission in Denmark. The model inputs were based on a systematic review of clinical efficacy data combined with local cost and effectiveness data from the Thy-Mors Hospital, Denmark. A probabilistic sensitivity analysis (PSA) was conducted to assess the uncertainty.

RESULTS:

Prevention of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers by implementing labour-intensive effects according to the PUB was cost-saving and resulted in an improved effect compared to standard care. The incremental cost of the PUB was -€38.62. The incremental effects were a reduction of 9.3% prevented pressure ulcers and 0.47% prevented deaths. The PSAs confirmed the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER)'s dominance for both prevented pressure ulcers and saved lives with the PUB.

CONCLUSION:

This study shows that labour-intensive efforts to reduce pressure ulcers on hospital wards can be cost-effective and lead to savings in total costs of hospital and social care.

KEY LIMITATIONS:

The data included in the study regarding costs and effects of the PUB in Denmark were based on preliminary findings from a pilot study at Thy-Mors Hospital and literature.

PMID:
23926909
DOI:
10.3111/13696998.2013.832256
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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