OBJECTIVE: To determine the costs and savings of a 15-component infection control program that reduced transmission of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) in an endemic setting.
DESIGN: Evaluation of costs and savings, using historical control data.
SETTING: Adult oncology unit of a 650-bed hospital.
PARTICIPANTS: Patients with leukemia, lymphoma, and solid tumors, excluding bone marrow transplant recipients.
METHODS: Costs and savings with estimated ranges were calculated. Excess length of stay (LOS) associated with VRE bloodstream infection (BSI) was determined by matching VRE BSI patients with VRE-negative patients by oncology diagnosis. Differences in LOS between the matched groups were evaluated using a mixed-effect analysis of variance linear-regression model.
RESULTS: The cost of enhanced infection control strategies for 1 year was $116,515. VRE BSI was associated with an increased LOS of 13.7 days. The savings associated with fewer VRE BSI ($123,081), fewer patients with VRE colonization ($2,755), and reductions in antimicrobial use ($179,997) totaled $305,833. Estimated ranges of costs and savings for enhanced infection control strategies were $97,939 to $148,883 for costs and $271,531 to $421,461 for savings.
CONCLUSION: The net savings due to enhanced infection control strategies for 1 year was $189,318. Estimates suggest that these strategies would be cost-beneficial for hospital units where the number of patients with VRE BSI is at least six to nine patients per year or if the savings from fewer VRE BSI patients in combination with decreased antimicrobial use equalled $100,000 to $150,000 per year.
Montecalvo MA, Jarvis WR, Uman J, Shay DK, Petrullo C, Horowitz HW, Wormser GP
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2001 Jul;22(7):437-42