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The economic rationale for infection control in Australian hospitals

Graves, Nicholas, Halton, Kate A., Paterson, David , & Whitby, Michael (2009) The economic rationale for infection control in Australian hospitals. Healthcare Infection, 14(3), pp. 81-88.

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Abstract

The objective of the present study was to predict the economic consequences of healthcare-acquired infections arising among admissions to Australian acute care hospitals. A quantitative algorithm informed by epidemiological and economic data was developed. All acute care hospitals in Australia were included in the study and the participants included all admissions to general medical and general surgical specialties. The main outcome measures were the numbers of cases of healthcare-acquired infection and bed days lost annually. It was estimated that there are 175 153 (95% credible interval 155 911 : 195 168) cases of healthcare-acquired infection among admissions to Australian hospitals annually, and the extra stay in hospital to treat symptoms accounts for 854 289 bed days (95% credible interval 645 091 : 1 096 244). If rates were reduced by 1%, then 150 158 bed days would be released for alternative uses. This would allow ~38 500 new admissions. Healthcare-acquired infections in patients cause bed blocks in Australian hospitals. The cost-effectiveness of hospital services might be improved by allocating more resources to infection control, releasing beds and allowing new admissions. There exists an opportunity to improve the efficiency of the Australian health care system.

Impact and interest:

9 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 27231
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: healthcare-acquired infections, acute care hospitals, infection, healthcare, hospitals, health economics, hospital economics
DOI: 10.1071/HI09010
ISSN: 1835-5617
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY (110800) > Medical Infection Agents (incl. Prions) (110802)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Australian Infection Control Association
Deposited On: 07 Sep 2009 08:09
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 00:02

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