Economic Evaluation of Ultrasound-guided Central Venous Catheter Confirmation vs Chest Radiography in Critically Ill Patients: A Labor Cost Model

Enyo A. Ablordeppey, Adam M. Koenig, Abigail R. Barker, Emily E. Hernandez, Suzanne M. Simkovich, James G. Krings, Derek S. Brown, Richard T. Griffey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Despite evidence suggesting that point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is faster and non-inferior for confirming position and excluding pneumothorax after central venous catheter (CVC) placement compared to traditional radiography, millions of chest radiographs (CXR) are performed annually for this purpose. Whether the use of POCUS results in cost savings compared to CXR is less clear but could represent a relative advantage in implementation efforts. Our objective in this study was to evaluate the labor cost difference for POCUS-guided vs CXR-guided CVC position confirmation practices. Methods: We developed a model to evaluate the per patient difference in labor cost between POCUS-guided vs CXR-guided CVC confirmation at our local urban, tertiary academic institution. We used internal cost data from our institution to populate the variables in our model. Results: The estimated labor cost per patient was $18.48 using CXR compared to $14.66 for POCUS, resulting in a net direct cost savings of $3.82 (21%) per patient using POCUS for CVC confirmation. Conclusion: In this study comparing the labor costs of two approaches for CVC confirmation, the more efficient alternative (POCUS-guided) is not more expensive than traditional CXR. Performing an economic analysis framed in terms of labor costs and work efficiency may influence stakeholders and facilitate earlier adoption of POCUS for CVC confirmation. [West J Emerg Med. 2022;23(5)760–768.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)760-768
Number of pages9
JournalWestern Journal of Emergency Medicine
Volume23
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022

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