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Hong, Zhiyong; Wu, Jun; Tisdell, Clem; O'Leary, Crystal; Gomes, James; Wen, Shi-Wu; Njoo, Howard;
Value in Health
Cost-Benefit Analysis of Preventing Nosocomial Bloodstream Infections among Hemodialysis Patients in Canada in 2004
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Objectives: Hemodialysis-associated bloodstream infection (BSI) is a significant public health problem because the number of hemodialysis patients in Canada had doubled from 1996 to 2005. Our study aimed to determine the costs of nosocomial BSIs in Canada and estimate the investment expenses for establishing infection control programs in general hospitals and conduct cost-benefit analysis. Materials and Methods: The data from the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program was used to estimate the incidence rate of nosocomial BSI. We used Canadian Institute of Health Information data to estimate the extra costs of BSIs per stay across Canada in 2004. The cost of establishing and maintaining an infection control program in 1985 was estimated by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and converted into 2004 Canadian costs. The possible 20\% to 30\% reduction of total nosocomial BSIs was hypothesized. Results: A total of 2524 hemodialysis-associated BSIs were projected among 15,278 hemodialysis patients in Canada in 2004. The total annual costs to treat BSIs were estimated to be CDN\$49.01 million. Total investment costs in prevention and human resources were CDN\$8.15 million. The savings of avoidable medical costs after establishing infection control programs were CDN\$14.52 million. The benefit/cost ratio was 1.0 to 1.8:1. Conclusion: Our study provides evidence that the economic benefit from implementing infection control programs could be expected to be well in excess of additional cost postinfection if the reduction of BS1 can be reduced by 20\% to 30\%. Infection control offered double benefits: saving money while simultaneously improving the quality of care.

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