Cost evaluation in the intensive care units of Trinidad applying the cost-blocks method – an international comparison*

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Abstract

Summary

This study evaluated the costs of intensive care in Trinidad applying the cost-blocks method. Data regarding demographics, severity of illness, therapeutic interventions and length of stay were prospectively recorded for 111 patients admitted to four intensive care units during a 3-month period. Annual costs, cost per admission, cost per patient-day and cost per therapeutic intervention score point were derived. The cost-block for staff, especially medical staff, was the largest proportion of the expenditure. Process of care and outcome were comparable, whereas costs were lower than the developed countries. The median cost per intensive care unit bed per year and cost per patient per day in Trinidad were £133 117 and £366, respectively, in comparison with £265 163 and £904 in the UK. The cost-blocks method is a useful framework for evaluating the costs of intensive care and for comparing costs between countries.

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