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CLABSI Toolkit - Chapter 6

Economic Aspects of CLABSIs and Their Prevention

Chapter 6 reviews the economic aspects of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) and their prevention. The currently recommended approaches for creating a compelling business case for health care-associated infection (HAI) prevention resources are also presented.

This chapter discusses the significant economic aspects of CLABSIs in addition to the morbidity and mortality that result from these infections.

Key points include the following:

  • CLABSI costs include those related to diagnosis and treatment, prolonged hospital stays, and, more recently in some countries, lack of reimbursement by third-party payers for expenses incurred. Lack of consistency in the methods used by various researchers to estimate CLABSI costs and differences in financial systems in various parts of the world add to the complexity of quantifying these costs.

  • An essential component in understanding the costs attributable to CLABSI is having reliable and valid surveillance data on the incidence of infection.

  • Three types of economic analyses are frequently used in health care decision making: cost-effectiveness analysis, cost-utility analysis, and cost-benefit analysis. A business case analysis is most closely related to a cost-benefit analysis.

  • Conducting a business case analysis is helpful in determining whether the financial benefits of a new or increased investment in activities to prevent health care-associated infections will outweigh their additional cost. In preparing the business case, it is important not to under-estimate staff time and costs or to overstate benefits. A well thought-out business case can help show that infection prevention is an investment rather than an expense.

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