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1.
Ann R Coll Surg Engl ; 103(8): 599-603, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1910438

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic has demanded radical changes in service delivery. Our centre adopted the use of outpatient telemedicine to reduce close-contact interactions between patients and staff. We hypothesised that incidental gains may be associated with this. We evaluated financial, practical and environmental implications of substituting virtual clinics (VCs) for in-person urology outpatient appointments. METHODS: VCs were studied over a 3-month period. Based on patient-reported 'usual mode of transport' to the hospital, travel distance, time, petrol and parking costs, and the carbon emissions avoided by virtue of remote consultations were calculated. The underlying symptom/diagnosis and the 'effectiveness' of the VC were evaluated. RESULTS: Of 1,016 scheduled consultations, 736 (72.44%) were conducted by VCs over the study period. VCs resulted in an agreed treatment plan in 98.4% of a representative patient sample. The use of VCs was associated with an overall travel distance saving for patients of 31,038 miles (49,951km) over 3 months, with an average round-trip journey of 93.8 miles (151km) avoided for each rural-dwelling patient and an average financial saving of £25.91 (€28.70) per rural-dwelling car traveller. An estimated 1,257.8 hours of patient time were saved by avoidance of travel and clinic waiting times. Based on car-travelling patients alone, a 6.07-tonne reduction in carbon emissions was achieved with the use of VCs. CONCLUSIONS: In appropriate clinical circumstances, VCs appear to provide efficiency across a number of domains. Future healthcare may involve offering outpatients the option of telemedicine as an alternative to physical attendance.


Subject(s)
Cost Savings , Remote Consultation , Travel , Vehicle Emissions , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , United Kingdom , Urology , Young Adult
2.
Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis ; 17: 1311-1322, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1910792

ABSTRACT

Purpose: To estimate the 5-year budget impact to Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ) hospitals of domiciliary nasal high flow (NHF) therapy to patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who require long term oxygen therapy. Methods: Hospital admission counts along with length of stay were obtained from hospital records of 200 COPD patients enrolled in a 12-month randomized clinical trial of NHF in Denmark, both over a 12-month baseline and then in the study period while on randomized treatment (control or NHF). NZ costings from similar COPD patients were estimated using data from Middlemore Hospital, Auckland and were applied to the Danish trial. The budget impact of NHF was estimated over the predicted 5-year lifetime of the device when used by patients sequentially. Results: Fifty-five of 100 patients in the NHF group and 44 of 100 patients in the control group were admitted to hospital with a respiratory diagnosis during the baseline year. They had 108 admissions in the treatment group vs 89 in the control group, with 632 vs 438 days in hospital, and modeled annual costs of $9443 vs $6512 per patient, respectively. During the study period there were 38 vs 44 patients with 67 vs 80 admissions and 302 vs 526 days in hospital, at a modeled annual cost of $6961 vs $9565 per patient respectively. Taking into account capital expenditure and running costs, this resulted in cost savings of $5535 per patient-year (95% CI, -$36 to -$11,034). With 90% usage over the estimated five-year lifetime of the NHF device, amortized capital costs of $594 per year and annual running costs of $662, we estimate a 5-year undiscounted cost saving per NHF device of $18,626 ($16,934 when discounted to net present value at 5% per annum). There would still be annual cost savings over a wide range of assumptions. Conclusion: Domiciliary NHF therapy for patients with severe COPD has the potential to provide substantial hospital cost savings over the five-year lifetime of the NHF device.


Subject(s)
Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive , Cost Savings , Hospital Costs , Hospitals , Humans , Oxygen Inhalation Therapy , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/diagnosis , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/therapy
3.
J Med Econ ; 25(1): 605-617, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852774

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As the body of evidence on COVID-19 and post-vaccination outcomes continues to expand, this analysis sought to evaluate the public health impact of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, BNT162b2, during the first year of its rollout in the US. METHODS: A combined Markov decision tree model compared clinical and economic outcomes of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (BNT162b2) versus no vaccination in individuals aged ≥12 years. Age-stratified epidemiological, clinical, economic, and humanistic parameters were derived from existing data and published literature. Scenario analysis explored the impact of using lower and upper bounds of parameters on the results. The health benefits were estimated as the number of COVID-19 symptomatic cases, hospitalizations and deaths averted, and Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) saved. The economic benefits were estimated as the amount of healthcare and societal cost savings associated with the vaccine-preventable health outcomes. RESULTS: It was estimated that, in 2021, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (BNT162b2) contributed to averting almost 9 million symptomatic cases, close to 700,000 hospitalizations, and over 110,000 deaths, resulting in an estimated $30.4 billion direct healthcare cost savings, $43.7 billion indirect cost savings related to productivity loss, as well as discounted gains of 1.1 million QALYs. Scenario analyses showed that these results were robust; the use of alternative plausible ranges of parameters did not change the interpretation of the findings. CONCLUSIONS: The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (BNT162b2) contributed to generate substantial public health impact and vaccine-preventable cost savings in the first year of its rollout in the US. The vaccine was estimated to prevent millions of COVID-19 symptomatic cases and thousands of hospitalizations and deaths, and these averted outcomes translated into cost-savings in the billions of US dollars and thousands of QALYs saved. As only direct impacts of vaccination were considered, these estimates may be conservative.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cost Savings , Humans , Public Health , United States/epidemiology
4.
Aust Health Rev ; 46(2): 197-203, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805762

ABSTRACT

Objective This study determined caregivers' evaluations of telehealth consultations for their child, preference over in-person consultations and potential cost savings by child condition, family socioeconomic status and location. Methods A survey was conducted of 2436 caregivers attending a telehealth consultation with their child for a broad group of conditions between 3 June and 25 August 2020 at a tertiary paediatric hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Results Most caregivers found telehealth consultations convenient, acceptable, safe and private, and capable of answering their questions and concerns. However, caregivers who spoke a language other than English and patients attending for behavioural and mental health, developmental or other (e.g. allied health) concerns were more likely to prefer in-person consultations over telehealth. Mean (±s.d.) reported cost savings on caregiver time were A$144.98 ± 99.04 per family per consultation, whereas mean (±s.d.) transport cost savings were A$84.90 ± 100.74 per family per consultation. Cost savings were greatest for families living in low and middle socioeconomic areas and regional or rural areas. Conclusions Paediatric telehealth video consultations were largely viewed favourably by caregivers, except for those attending for behavioural and mental health or developmental concerns. What is known about the topic? Adult consumers of telehealth consultations view them as useful, convenient and cost saving, but less is known about caregivers' evaluations of telehealth consultations and potential cost savings for paediatric patients, and whether these differ by family location, socioeconomic status or child condition. What does this paper add? This is the first Australian paper to report on caregivers' evaluations across a range of paediatric conditions and locations. Most caregivers found telehealth consultations convenient, safe, acceptable, able to answer their questions and concerns about their child's health and cost saving. What are the implications for practitioners? Caregivers of children with behavioural, mental health or developmental problems were less likely to prefer telehealth over in-person consultations, so practitioners should consider providing such consultations in person.


Subject(s)
Caregivers , Telemedicine , Adult , Australia , Child , Cost Savings , Humans , Referral and Consultation , Telemedicine/methods
5.
Front Public Health ; 9: 753447, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775949

ABSTRACT

Acquired brain injury (ABI) is a major global public health problem and source of disability. A major contributor to disability after severe ABI is limited access to multidisciplinary rehabilitation, despite evidence of sustained functional gains, improved quality of life, increased return-to-work, and reduced need for long-term care. A societal model of value in rehabilitation matches patient and family expectations of outcomes and system expectations of value for money. A policy analysis of seven studies (2009-2019) exploring outcomes and cost-savings from access to multi-disciplinary rehabilitation identified average lifetime savings of $1.50M per person, with costs recouped within 18 months. Recommendations: Increase access to multi-disciplinary rehabilitation following severe ABI; strengthen prevention focus; increase access to case management; support return-to-work; and systematically collect outcome and cost data.


Subject(s)
Brain Injuries , Rehabilitation , Cost Savings , Humans , Quality of Life , Rehabilitation/economics , Return to Work
6.
Am J Health Syst Pharm ; 79(8): 676-682, 2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1597954

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To decrease drug waste and cost by implementing automated chemotherapy dose rounding rules in the electronic health record (EHR). Dose rounding of chemotherapy is a recognized method for reducing drug waste, and professional organizations have published guidelines recommending dose rounding when possible. SUMMARY: On the basis of current literature and guideline recommendations, Mayo Clinic developed system-wide consensus to allow dose rounding for biologic and chemotherapy agents to the nearest vial size if rounding resulted in the dose being within 10% of the originally calculated dose or to a convenient measurable volume, based on concentration of the drug, if rounding to the nearest vial size resulted in the dose being outside the 10% range. Oncology pharmacists reviewed and analyzed all drugs listed in the EHR used in injectable form for the treatment of cancer and developed dose rounding rules. The rules were implemented and applied at the dose calculation stage before provider signature. From January to June 2019, approximately 40,000 cancer treatment doses were administered. The rounding rules saved a total of 9,814 vials of drug, of which 5,329 were for biologic agents and 4,485 were for oncolytic drugs. This resulted in a total 6-month cost savings of $7,284,796 (in 2019 dollars; biologics, $5,727,402; oncolytics, $1,557,394). CONCLUSION: Systematic implementation of dose rounding rules utilizing the EHR can result in significant reduction of drug waste and realization of savings.


Subject(s)
Antineoplastic Agents , Drug Costs , Cost Savings , Electronic Health Records , Humans , Workflow
7.
Am J Surg ; 223(1): 176-181, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1568479

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Perioperative inefficiency can increase cost. We describe a process improvement initiative that addressed preoperative delays on an academic vascular surgery service. METHODS: First case vascular surgeries from July 2019-January 2020 were retrospectively reviewed for delays, defined as late arrival to the operating room (OR). A stakeholder group spearheaded by a surgeon-informaticist analyzed this process and implemented a novel electronic medical records (EMR) preoperative tool with improved preoperative workflow and role delegation; results were reviewed for 3 months after implementation. RESULTS: 57% of cases had first case on-time starts with average delay of 19 min. Inappropriate preoperative orders were identified as a dominant delay source (average delay = 38 min). Three months post-implementation, 53% of first cases had on-time starts with average delay of 11 min (P < 0.05). No delays were due to missing orders. CONCLUSIONS: Inconsistent preoperative workflows led to inappropriate orders and delays, increasing cost and decreasing quality. A novel EMR tool subsequently reduced delays with projected savings of $1,200/case. Workflow standardization utilizing informatics can increase efficiency, raising the value of surgical care.


Subject(s)
Cost Savings/statistics & numerical data , Efficiency, Organizational/economics , Medical Informatics , Operating Rooms/organization & administration , Vascular Surgical Procedures/organization & administration , Academic Medical Centers/economics , Academic Medical Centers/organization & administration , Academic Medical Centers/statistics & numerical data , Efficiency, Organizational/standards , Efficiency, Organizational/statistics & numerical data , Health Plan Implementation/organization & administration , Health Plan Implementation/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Operating Rooms/economics , Operating Rooms/standards , Operating Rooms/statistics & numerical data , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Program Evaluation , Quality Improvement , Retrospective Studies , Root Cause Analysis/statistics & numerical data , Vascular Surgical Procedures/economics , Vascular Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Workflow
8.
Support Care Cancer ; 30(3): 2755-2766, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1536305

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To characterize and compare both the outcome and cost of treatment of outpatient (OP) and inpatient (IP) ifosfamide therapy. METHODS: A single-center retrospective chart review of patients 18 years and older receiving ifosfamide therapy. The primary endpoint compares and evaluates the side effect profiles of ifosfamide-treated patients in the OP/IP settings. The adverse event grading system was characterized using the CTCAE Version 5.0. The highest grade was documented per cycle. The secondary endpoint of this study compares the costs of OP/IP therapy. It was assumed that the cost of medication was equivalent for IP/OP treatments. The cost saved with OP administration was determined by the average cost of hospital stay for IP admission. RESULTS: Ifosfamide therapy of 86 patients (57 OP, 29 IP) was reviewed. The predominant OP regimens were doxorobucin-ifosfamide-mesna (AIM) with 43.9% and ifosfamide-etoposide (IE) with 29.8%. Grade 4 anemia, thrombocytopenia, and neutropenia were most frequent in IP vs OP therapies (22.9% IP vs 4.3% OP, 21.6% IP vs 9.2% OP, and 22.8% IP vs 19.6% OP respectively). Neutropenic fever (NF) occurred in 20 OP patients which were predominantly treated with AIM or IE and led to average hospital stay of 6 days. Neurotoxicity, treated with methylene blue (MB) occurred in 4 OP patients. OP therapy saved a total of 783 hospital days, leading to a cost savings of $2,103,921. CONCLUSIONS: Transitioning ifosfamide to the OP setting is feasible for academic and community infusion centers with the OP administration being safe, well-tolerated, and associated with decreased total cost of care. The current processes allow for safe transition of chemotherapy of chemotherapy under times of COVID.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ifosfamide , Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/adverse effects , Cost Savings , Etoposide , Humans , Ifosfamide/adverse effects , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Res Social Adm Pharm ; 16(10): 1344-1353, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1454504

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To critically appraise the literature to determine the cost and time savings for institutions when pharmacy technicians practice in advanced scope roles. METHODS: A systematic review was registered with Prospero and conducted in January 2019. Searches were conducted in Business Source Pro, CINAHL, EconLit, EMBASE, InformGlobal, Medline, ProQuest, PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science. Search terms included pharmacy technician/pharmacy assistant and cost or time or economic evaluation. After article selection in the web-based platform Covidence©, data was extracted, and a narrative review was performed. RESULTS: A total of 16 publications were eligible for inclusion in the review. Pharmacy technicians practicing at advanced scope led to both cost savings and time savings. Six studies reported a cost saving, six reported a time saving and four reported both time and cost savings. Annual savings ranged from AUD $4526 - $88,719.89, linked primarily to the difference in wages between pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. Studies that focused on time savings evaluated checking dispensed items, taking medication histories and entering chemotherapy orders; demonstrating savings of up to 5 min per task completed. CONCLUSION(S): Appropriately trained pharmacy technicians practicing at advanced scope have the potential to save time and reduce hospital costs. Identifying the cost saving opportunities from technicians acting in advance scope roles will provide incentives for hospitals to expand their technician workforce.


Subject(s)
Pharmacy Service, Hospital , Pharmacy Technicians , Cost Savings , Humans , Pharmacists , Professional Role , Workforce
10.
Chem Commun (Camb) ; 57(82): 10771-10774, 2021 Oct 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1442812

ABSTRACT

We have established a new protocol for detecting severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) using a peptidomimetic to covalently detect a viral marker protease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Proteases/isolation & purification , Biological Assay/economics , Biosensing Techniques/economics , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Testing/economics , Cost Savings , Electrochemical Techniques/economics , Humans , Peptidomimetics/chemistry , Tyrosine/chemistry , Viral Proteases/chemistry
11.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 17793, 2021 09 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1397895

ABSTRACT

The rapid identification and isolation of infected individuals remains a key strategy for controlling the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Frequent testing of populations to detect infection early in asymptomatic or presymptomatic individuals can be a powerful tool for intercepting transmission, especially when the viral prevalence is low. However, RT-PCR testing-the gold standard of SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis-is expensive, making regular testing of every individual unfeasible. Sample pooling is one approach to lowering costs. By combining samples and testing them in groups the number of tests required is reduced, substantially lowering costs. Here we report on the implementation of pooling strategies using 3-d and 4-d hypercubes to test a professional sports team in South Africa. We have shown that infected samples can be reliably detected in groups of 27 and 81, with minimal loss of assay sensitivity for samples with individual Ct values of up to 32. We report on the automation of sample pooling, using a liquid-handling robot and an automated web interface to identify positive samples. We conclude that hypercube pooling allows for the reliable RT-PCR detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection, at significantly lower costs than lateral flow antigen (LFA) tests.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , High-Throughput Screening Assays/methods , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Specimen Handling/methods , Antigens, Viral/isolation & purification , Athletes , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/economics , COVID-19 Serological Testing/economics , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , Cost Savings , High-Throughput Screening Assays/economics , Humans , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , South Africa , Specimen Handling/economics , Sports Medicine/economics , Sports Medicine/methods
13.
Mil Med ; 186(12 Suppl 2): 35-39, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1381028

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The global 2019 coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) is setting unprecedented demands on the nation and the military and surgical services. Surgical demands include a large backlog of surgical cases, strain on available resources, and the need for additional measures to prevent exposure. The purpose of this project was to evaluate the feasibility, duration, adverse events, and potential gains associated with using a Turbett Sterilization Pod (TSP) for total joint replacements. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A multidisciplinary team used the Plan-Do-Study-Act model to guide this project. A time-motion study was completed in the operating room (OR) to measure the average time required to set up surgical instrumentation for total joint replacement cases that required 12 or more instrument trays. We compared the amount of time it took to complete the setting up of instrumentation using the traditional method versus the TSP method. The traditional method consisted of unwrapping each surgical tray, checking for holes in the blue wrapper, and placing the tray on the back table. In the case of the TSP, the door of the pod was opened, and the instrument trays were transferred directly to the back table. We measured the time the staff took to perform the task using each of these methods. RESULTS: When compared to the traditional method, the use of the TSP resulted in improved turnover time, decreased room setup time, reduced environmental waste, and eliminated both the effect of damage to wrappers and the time previously spent wrapping surgical trays. CONCLUSION: The TSP minimizes the time needed by the staff to set up an OR suite for a total joint replacement, therefore permitting them to focus more on direct patient care. This time improvement suggests that all surgical specialties, including those requiring greater than 12 traditional instrument sets, may experience reduced turnover time between cases. The use of the TSP is one means to help rectify the OR backlog brought on by COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Military Medicine , Cost Savings , Humans , Operating Rooms , SARS-CoV-2 , Sterilization , Surgical Instruments
15.
Infection ; 50(1): 191-201, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1361346

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: First detected in China in 2019, the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has rapidly spread globally. Since then, healthcare systems are exposed to major challenges due to scarce personnel and financial resources. Therefore, this analysis intended to examine treatment costs of COVID-19 inpatients in a German single centre during the first pandemic wave in 2020 from a healthcare payer perspective. Potential cost savings were assessed considering the administration of remdesivir according to the European Medicines Agency label. METHODS: A retrospective medical-chart review was conducted on COVID-19 patients treated at University Hospital Cologne, Germany. Patients were clustered according to an eight-category ordinal scale reflecting different levels of supplemental oxygen. Potential cost savings due to the administration of remdesivir were retrospectively modelled based on a reduced length of stay, as shown in the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial. RESULTS: 105 COVID-19 patients were identified. There was wide variability in the service data with median treatment costs from EUR 900 to EUR 53,000 per patient, depending on major diagnosis categories and clinical severity. No supplemental oxygen was needed in 40 patients (38.1%). Forty-three (41.0%) patients were treated in intensive-care units, and 30 (69.8%) received invasive ventilation. In our model, in-label administration of remdesivir would have resulted in costs savings of EUR 2100 per COVID-19 inpatient (excluding acquisition costs). CONCLUSION: We found that COVID-19 inpatients suffer from heterogeneous disease patterns with a variety of incurred G-DRG tariffs and treatment costs. Theoretically shown in the model, financial resources can be saved by the administration of remdesivir in eligible inpatients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cost Savings , Cost of Illness , Humans , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Tertiary Care Centers
16.
Am J Health Syst Pharm ; 78(23): 2159-2163, 2021 Nov 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1309586

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: While biologic medications have transformed the care and management of millions of patients, they are a large financial strain on the healthcare system. Biosimilar medications present a great opportunity to improve care affordability. However, despite streamlined approval processes and the potential for cost savings, the acceptance and adoption of biosimilars have been slow. This descriptive report illustrates the preparation for, challenges of, and execution of an enterprise-wide biosimilar conversion within a large healthcare system. The 3 phases of biosimilar conversion utilized at our institution included selection of a biosimilar, pharmacy and therapeutics (P&T) committee approval, and implementation. SUMMARY: When selecting a biosimilar, clinical data, medication safety, cost, institutional cost savings, payer coverage, patient assistance programs, and additional patient services should be taken into consideration to ensure patient care is not affected. Understanding and endorsement of biosimilar use by physician leadership, care managers, and pharmacists are crucial before implementation. P&T committee approval with clear delineation of the patient population (naive vs experienced), disease states, and whether the biosimilar would be the preferred medication should be obtained. Transparent communication of clear expectations to patients and coordination with the information technology (IT), contracting, and supply chain departments are necessary before the go-live date. Contracting and IT implementations should ideally take potential changes in biosimilar adoption into consideration and have enough flexibility to account for these changes. Planned evaluations of patients' experiences with the change to the biosimilar should be incorporated as part of the implementation plan. CONCLUSION: The barriers to biosimilar adoption are plentiful. Careful planning, clear communication, and coordination with all affected disciplines can ensure successful biosimilar conversion.


Subject(s)
Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals , Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals/therapeutic use , Cost Savings , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Pharmacists
17.
J Pediatr Urol ; 17(4): 480.e1-480.e7, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1240465

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Widespread utilization of telemedicine in our practice to date has been limited to the evaluation of certain post-surgical patients. The COVID-19 pandemic acutely stressed our established system and required us to enhance our utilization of telemedicine. We hypothesized that expansion of telemedicine to new and follow up patient visits for pediatric urology could be done effectively in a way that satisfied patient and parental expectations. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using a pre-COVID-19 established telemedicine program based in our electronic medical record (EMR), patients and providers transitioned to primarily virtual visits when clinically appropriate. Guidelines were formulated to direct patient scheduling, provider and staff education was provided, including a process map designed for multiple providers to complete video visits (VV), and the EMR was redesigned to incorporate telehealth terminology. The number of VV per provider was recorded using the electronic medical record, and patient reported outcomes (PRO) were measured using a standardized questionnaire. RESULTS: A total of 631 VV met inclusion criteria during the period of May 2018-April 2020. This included 334 follow up, 172 new, and 125 postoperative visits. The median age of patients at time of visit was 7 years (IQR 2-12 years), median visit time was 20 min (IQR 15-30 min), and the median travel distance saved by performing a VV was 12.2 miles (IQR 6.3-26.8 miles). Diagnoses were varied and included the entire breadth of a standard pediatric urology practice. The PRO questionnaire was completed for 325 of those patient visits. Families reported a high overall satisfaction with the video visits (median score of 10 out of 10) and felt that the visit met their child's medical needs. 90% stated that they would strongly recommend a telehealth visit to other families. Patients and parents reported benefits of VV including decreased travel costs and less time taken off from work and school. CONCLUSION: The EMR enabled nimble redirection of clinical care in the setting of a global pandemic. The enhanced use of telemedicine has proved to be an alternative method to provide care for pediatric urology patients. Families indicate a high degree of satisfaction with this technology in addition to significant time and cost savings. Telemedicine should remain a key aspect of medical care and expanded from post-operative visits to new patient and follow up visits, even as we return to our normal practices as the pandemic restrictions soften.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Urology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cost Savings , Humans , Outpatients , Pandemics , Patient Satisfaction , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Am J Health Syst Pharm ; 78(17): 1559-1567, 2021 08 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1233838

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Cost-avoidance studies of pharmacist interventions are common and often the first type of study conducted by investigators to quantify the economic impact of clinical pharmacy services. The purpose of this primer is to provide guidance for conducting cost-avoidance studies pertaining to clinical pharmacy practice. SUMMARY: Cost-avoidance studies represent a paradigm conceptually different from traditional pharmacoeconomic analysis. A cost-avoidance study reports on cost savings from a given intervention, where the savings is estimated based on a counterfactual scenario. Investigators need to determine what specifically would have happened to the patient if the intervention did not occur. This assessment can be fundamentally flawed, depending on underlying assumptions regarding the pharmacists' action and the patient trajectory. It requires careful identification of the potential consequence of nonaction, as well as probability and cost assessment. Given the uncertainty of assumptions, sensitivity analyses should be performed. A step-by-step methodology, formula for calculations, and best practice guidance is provided. CONCLUSIONS: Cost-avoidance studies focused on pharmacist interventions should be considered low-level evidence. These studies are acceptable to provide pilot data for the planning of future clinical trials. The guidance provided in this article should be followed to improve the quality and validity of such investigations.


Subject(s)
Pharmacies , Pharmacy Service, Hospital , Pharmacy , Cost Savings , Humans , Pharmacists
19.
Urology ; 154: 158-163, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1233625

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To study the use of video visits for male infertility care prior to the COVID-19 pandemic METHODS: We reviewed video visits for male infertility patients completed at a tertiary academic center in southeast Michigan. These patients had follow-up after an initial in-person evaluation. We designed this retrospective case series to describe the diagnostic categories seen through telehealth, management steps completed during video visits, and to understand whether additional in-person care was required within 90 days of video visits. In addition, we estimated time and cost savings for patients attributed to video visits. RESULTS: Most men seen during video visits had an endocrinologic (29%) or anatomic (21%) cause for their infertility. 73% of video visits involved reviewing results; 30% included counseling regarding assistive reproductive technologies; and 25% of video visits resulted in prescribing hormonally active medications. The two patients (3%) who were seen in clinic after their video visit underwent a varicocelectomy in the interim. No patients required an unplanned in-person visit. From a patient perspective, video visits were estimated to save a median of 97 minutes (IQR 64-250) of travel per visit. Median cost savings per patient- by avoiding travel and taking time off work for a clinic visit-were estimated to range from $149 (half day off) to $252 (full day off). CONCLUSION: Video visits for established male infertility patients were used to manage different causes of infertility while saving patients time and money. Telehealth for established patients did not trigger additional in-person evaluations.


Subject(s)
Infertility, Male , Remote Consultation , Academic Medical Centers , Adult , Cost Savings , Humans , Male , Michigan , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Time Factors , Young Adult
20.
JAMA Surg ; 156(8): 775-784, 2021 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1195105

ABSTRACT

Importance: Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) is a global surgical quality improvement initiative now firmly entrenched within the field of perioperative care. Although ERAS is associated with significant clinical outcome improvements and cost savings in numerous surgical specialties, several opportunities and challenges deserve further discussion. Observations: Uptake and implementation of ERAS Society guidelines, together with ERAS-related research, have increased exponentially since the inception of the ERAS movement. Opportunities to further improve patient outcomes include addressing frailty, optimizing nutrition, prehabilitation, correcting preoperative anemia, and improving uptake of ERAS worldwide, including in low- and middle-income countries. Challenges facing enhanced recovery today include implementation, carbohydrate loading, reversal of neuromuscular blockade, and bowel preparation. The COVID-19 pandemic poses both a challenge and an opportunity for ERAS. Conclusions and Relevance: To date, ERAS has achieved significant benefit for patients and health systems; however, improvements are still needed, particularly in the areas of patient optimization and systematic implementation. During this time of global crisis, the ERAS method of delivering care is required to take surgery and anesthesia to the next level and bring improvements in outcomes to both patients and health systems.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Enhanced Recovery After Surgery , Clinical Protocols , Cost Savings , Humans , Pandemics , Patient Care Team , Postoperative Complications/prevention & control , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Quality Improvement , SARS-CoV-2 , Societies, Medical
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