Cost-Effectiveness of a national initiative to improve hand hygiene compliance using the outcome of healthcare associated staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia

Publication Type:
Journal Article
PLoS ONE, 2016, 11 (2)
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© 2016 Graves et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Background The objective is to estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness of the Australian National Hand Hygiene Inititiave implemented between 2009 and 2012 using healthcare associated Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia as the outcome. Baseline comparators are the eight existing state and territory hand hygiene programmes. The setting is the Australian public healthcare system and 1,294,656 admissions from the 50 largest Australian hospitals are included. Methods The design is a cost-effectiveness modelling study using a before and after quasi-experimental design. The primary outcome is cost per life year saved from reduced cases of healthcare associated Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia, with cost estimated by the annual on-going maintenance costs less the costs saved from fewer infections. Data were harvested from existing sources or were collected prospectively and the time horizon for the model was 12 months, 2011-2012. Findings No useable pre-implementation Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia data were made available from the 11 study hospitals in Victoria or the single hospital in Northern Territory leaving 38 hospitals among six states and territories available for cost-effectiveness analyses. Total annual costs increased by $2,851,475 for a return of 96 years of life giving an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of $29,700 per life year gained. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis revealed a 100% chance the initiative was cost effective in the AustralianCapital Territory and Queensland, with ICERs of $1,030 and $8,988 respectively. There was an 81% chance it was cost effective in New South Wales with an ICER of $33,353, a 26% chance for South Australia with an ICER of $64,729 and a 1% chance for Tasmania and Western Australia. The 12 hospitals in Victoria and the Northern Territory incur annual on-going maintenance costs of $1.51M; no information was available to describe cost savings or health benefits. Conclusions The Australian National Hand Hygiene Initiative was cost-effective against an Australian threshold of $42,000 per life year gained. The return on investment varied among the states and territories of Australia.
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