Cost minimisation analysis of thermometry in two different hospital systems

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Abstract

Introduction

Temperature monitoring can be accomplished by various methods, including oral (OT), rectal (RT), axillary (AT), tympanic membrane (TMT) and temporal artery (TAT) thermometry, with varying amounts of cost incurred by healthcare systems.

Methods

The potential thermometry cost savings in two hospital systems—University Hospital Centre Zagreb (UHCZ), which uses TMT (device Covidien Genius 2) and University of Michigan Hospitals (UMH), which relies on OT, RT and AT (device Welch Allyn suretemp plus 692)—were analysed to evaluate institution-wide TAT (device Exergen TAT-5000) implementation. Two scenarios were developed: scenario 1, comparing costs for a period of 1, 3 and 5 years; scenario 2, calculation of the number of measurements per device for TAT to be cost-effective.

Results

At UHCZ, use of TAT would bring budget savings regardless of the number of devices per bed and the number of years observed. Savings would range from US$0.08 million (one device per bed, impact for 1 year) to US$1.8 million (one device per 10 beds, impact for 5 years). At UMH, use of TAT would lead to budget savings if one device per 10 beds were acquired, but only over a period of 3 or 5 years. Other TAT scenarios were associated with budget costs at UMH even after a period of 5 years.

Conclusions

Sensitivity analyses showed that the price of current consumables had the highest impact on the model in both hospital settings, with TAT up to 10 times cheaper in that regard over TMT at UHCZ, potentially leading to considerable budget savings within a year of hospital-wide implementation.

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