High morbidity rate of atopic diseases among children, including high importance of grass pollen as a sensitizing agent, determine the relevance ofstudies on diagnostic examination systems for appointment of adequate therapy. The research of the most relevant allergens for patients to excludeof duplicating and uninformative tests became urgent after development of a new type of diagnostic tests that does not require expensive equipment. The objective of this research was to evaluate the results of in vitro- and in vivo-diagnostic examinations of children with various forms of atopic disease caused by pollen of meadow grasses, and to choose the most significant prognostic parameters for the diagnosis.
277 children aged 4-16 years with various forms of atopic disease were included in the study. There were performed skin prick tests and determination of IgE-antibodies levels to allergen extracts of cocksfoot (g3), meadow fescue (g4), timothy grass (g6).
In the studied group of patients 32-50% of children have antibodies to grass allergens. There was a close correlation of antibody response on the investigated allergens, quantitative coincidence of IgE-antibodies to g3 andg4 allergens levels. IgE (g6) concentration was close to the IgE(g3) and IgE(g4) levels (85.0 ± 21.6%). Analysis of the skin tests results showed that 44% of patients have a positive response to grass allergens, and in vivo-tests results coincide with serologicaltests results, mostly in a qualitative sense. The most significant relationship was noted between in vivo and in vitro-tests in the results of testing the response to meadow fescue pollen.
Based on these data IgE concentration index to meadow fescue allergens can be used as a prognostic marker to determine the sensitization of patients with different nosology forms of allergy and can help to improve allergic diagnostics.
Over a span of four years we studied the number and type of patient contacts with the off-hour emergency service in a municipality in Western Norway. At the start of the period, the service was organised by each municipality, later more municipalities formed a regional service. At the end of the period, a list patient system was introduced.
All contacts from patients as well as activities performed by general practitioners on off-hour emergency duty were registered in four separate periods, from 1999 to 2002.
Simultaneously with shift from a local to a regional system, the proportion of home calls fell from 18% to less than 1%. The implementation of a list patient system combined with a regional system reduced the total number of contacts by 30%. Public expenditure was reduced by 66%.
The combination of a regional off-hour service and a list patient system gives an efficient organisation. The total work-load for doctors is significantly reduced and the quality of medical services improve; financial considerations also support a shift in off-hour emergency service towards regional organisation.
PURPOSE: To get an informative and detailed picture of the resource utilization in a radiology department in order to support its pricing and management. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A system based mainly on the theoretical foundations of activity-based costing (ABC) was designed, tested and compared with conventional costing. The study was performed at the Pediatric Unit of the Department of Radiology, Oulu University Hospital. The material consisted of all the 7,452 radiological procedures done in the unit during the first half of 1994, when both methods of costing where in use. Detailed cost data were obtained from the hospital financial and personnel systems and then related to activity data captured in the radiology information system. RESULTS: The allocation of overhead costs was greatly reduced by the introduction of ABC compared to conventional costing. The overhead cost as a percentage of total costs dropped to one-fourth of total costs, from 57% to 16%. The change of unit costs of radiological procedures varied from -42% to +82%. CONCLUSION: Costing is much more detailed and precise, and the percentage of unspecified allocated overhead costs diminishes drastically when ABC is used. The new information enhances effective departmental management, as the whole process of radiological procedures is identifiable by single activities, amenable to corrective actions and process improvement.
The FACET (Formoterol and Corticosteroid Establishing Therapy) study established that there is a clear clinical benefit in adding formoterol to budesonide therapy in patients who have persistent symptoms of asthma despite treatment with low to moderate doses of an inhaled corticosteroid. We combined the clinical results from the FACET study with an expert survey on average resource use in connection with mild and severe asthma exacerbations in the U.K., Sweden and Spain. The primary objective of this study was to assess the health economics of adding the inhaled long-acting beta2-agonist formoterol to the inhaled corticosteroid budesonide in the treatment of asthma. The extra costs of adding the inhaled beta2-agonist formoterol to the corticosteroid budesonide in asthmatic patients in Sweden were offset by savings from reduced use of resources for exacerbations. For Spain the picture was mixed. Adding formoterol to low dose budesonide generated savings, whereas for moderate doses of budesonide about 75% of the extra formoterol costs could be recouped. In the U.K., other savings offset about half of the extra cost of formoterol. All cost-effectiveness ratios are within accepted cost-effectiveness ranges reported from previous studies. If productivity losses were included, there were net savings in all three countries, ranging from Euro 267-1183 per patient per year. In conclusion, adding the inhaled, long-acting beta2-agonist formoterol to low-moderate doses of the inhaled corticosteroid budesonide generated significant gains in all outcome measures with partial or complete offset of costs. Adding formoterol to budesonide can thus be considered to be cost-effective.
Mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with substantial costs due to over-triage of patients to computed tomography (CT) scanning, despite validated decision rules. Serum biomarker S100B has shown promise for safely omitting CT scans but the economic impact from clinical use has never been reported. In 2007, S100B was adapted into the existing Scandinavian management guidelines in Halmstad, Sweden, in an attempt to reduce CT scans and save costs.
Consecutive adult patients with mild TBI (GCS 14-15, loss of consciousness and/or amnesia), managed with the aid of S100B, were prospectively included in this study. Patients were followed up after 3 months with a standardized questionnaire. Theoretical and actual cost differences were calculated.
Seven hundred twenty-six patients were included and 29 (4.7 %) showed traumatic abnormalities on CT. No further significant intracranial complications were discovered on follow-up. Two hundred twenty-nine patients (27 %) had normal S100B levels and 497 patients (73 %) showed elevated S100B levels. Over-triage occurred in 73 patients (32 %) and under-triage occurred in 39 patients (7 %). No significant intracranial complications were missed. The introduction of S100B could save 71 € per patient if guidelines were strictly followed. As compliance to the guidelines was not perfect, the actual cost saving was 39 € per patient.
Adding S100B to existing guidelines for mild TBI seems to reduce CT usage and costs, especially if guideline compliance could be increased.
Collaboration is a key element to success in the provision of sustainable and integrated healthcare services. Among the many initiatives undertaken to improve service quality and reduce costs, collaboration among hospitals in Ontario has been difficult to achieve; however, voluntary collaboration is vital to achieving transformation of the magnitude envisioned by system leaders.
A geriatric five-day unit of 15 beds was studied continuously for 12 months. There were 330 admissions, mainly referrals from general practitioners via the outpatient clinic. Multiple pathology and loss of function were common. The opinion of colleagues within other specialties was sought on 133 occasions. 39% of the patients received physiotherapy, 27% received occupational therapy and 13% the services of a social worker. Compared with the cost of running a conventional ward of the same size, the financial savings are estimated to be fully NOK 750,000.
If your company operates in a developing country, AIDS is your business. While Africa has received the most attention, AIDS is also spreading swiftly in other parts of the world. Russia and Ukraine had the fastest-growing epidemics last year, and many experts believe China and India will suffer the next tidal wave of infection. Why should executives be concerned about AIDS? Because it is destroying the twin rationales of globalization strategy-cheap labor and fast-growing markets--in countries where people are heavily affected by the epidemic. Fortunately, investments in programs that prevent infection and provide treatment for employees who have HIV/AIDS are profitable for many businesses--that is, they lead to savings that outweigh the programs' costs. Due to the long latency period between HIV infection and the onset of AIDS symptoms, a company is not likely to see any of the costs of HIV/AIDS until five to ten years after an employee is infected. But executives can calculate the present value of epidemic-related costs by using the discount rate to weigh each cost according to its expected timing. That allows companies to think about expenses on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs as investments rather than merely as costs. The authors found that the annual cost of AIDS to six corporations in South Africa and Botswana ranged from 0.4% to 5.9% of the wage bill. All six companies would have earned positive returns on their investments if they had provided employees with free treatment for HIV/AIDS in the form of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), according to the mathematical model the authors used. The annual reduction in the AIDS "tax" would have been as much as 40.4%. The authors' conclusion? Fighting AIDS not only helps those infected; it also makes good business sense.