Cost Analysis of Strategies to Reduce Blood Culture Contamination in the Emergency Department: Sterile Collection Kits and Phlebotomy Teams.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2014 Aug;35(8):1021-1028
Authors: Self WH, Talbot TR, Paul BR, Collins SP, Ward MJ
Objective. Blood culture collection practices that reduce contamination, such as sterile blood culture collection kits and phlebotomy teams, increase up-front costs for collecting cultures but may lead to net savings by eliminating downstream costs associated with contamination. The study objective was to compare overall hospital costs associated with 3 collection strategies: usual care, sterile kits, and phlebotomy teams. Design. Cost analysis. Setting. This analysis was conducted from the perspective of a hospital leadership team selecting a blood culture collection strategy for an adult emergency department (ED) with 8,000 cultures drawn annually. Methods. Total hospital costs associated with 3 strategies were compared: (1) usual care, with nurses collecting cultures without a standardized protocol; (2) sterile kits, with nurses using a dedicated sterile collection kit; and (3) phlebotomy teams, with cultures collected by laboratory-based phlebotomists. In the base case, contamination rates associated with usual care, sterile kits, and phlebotomy teams were assumed to be 4.34%, 1.68%, and 1.10%, respectively. Total hospital costs included costs of collecting cultures and hospitalization costs according to culture results (negative, true positive, and contaminated). Results. Compared with usual care, annual net savings using the sterile kit and phlebotomy team strategies were $483,219 and $288,980, respectively. Both strategies remained less costly than usual care across a broad range of sensitivity analyses. Conclusions. EDs with high blood culture contamination rates should strongly consider evidence-based strategies to reduce contamination. In addition to improving quality, implementing a sterile collection kit or phlebotomy team strategy is likely to result in net cost savings.
PMID: 25026619 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]