This randomized controlled trial was designed to evaluate the 2-year costs and effects of a proactive, public health nursing case management approach compared with a self-directed approach for 129 single parents (98% were mothers) on social assistance in a Canadian setting. A total of 43% of these parents had a major depressive disorder and 38% had two or three other health conditions at baseline.
Study participants were recruited over a 12 month period and randomized into two groups: one receiving proactive public health nursing and one which did not.
At 2 years, 69 single parents with 123 children receiving proactive public health nursing (compared with 60 parents with 91 children who did not receive public health nursing services) showed a slightly greater reduction in dysthymia and slightly higher social adjustment. There was no difference between the public health and control groups in total per parent annual cost of health and support services. However, costs were averted due to a 12% difference in non-use of social assistance in the previous 12 months for parents in the public health nursing group. This translates into an annual cost saving of 240,000 dollars (Canadian) of costs averted within 1 year for every 100 parents.
In the context of a system of national health and social insurance, this study supports the fact that it is no more costly to proactively service this population of parents on social assistance.
This paper is a report of a study conducted to evaluate change in health-related quality of life for people with constipation receiving abdominal massage and to estimate the cost-effectiveness of two alternative scenarios developed from the original trial.
Constipation is a common problem and is associated with decrease in quality of life. Abdominal massage appears to decrease the severity of gastrointestinal symptoms, but its impact on health-related quality of life has not been assessed.
A randomized controlled trial including 60 participants was conducted in Sweden between 2005 and 2007. The control group continued using laxatives as before and the intervention group received additional abdominal massage. Health-related quality of life was assessed using the EQ-5D and analyzed with linear regression. Two scenarios were outlined to conduct a cost utility analysis. In the self-massage scenario patients learned to give self-massage, and in the professional massage scenario patients in hospital received abdominal massage from an Enrolled Nurse.
Linear regression analysis showed that health-related quality of life was statistically significantly increased after 8 weeks of abdominal massage. About 40% were estimated to receive good effect. For 'self-massage', the cost per quality adjusted life year was euro75,000 for the first 16 weeks. For every additional week of abdominal massage, the average dropped and eventually approached euro8300. For 'professional massage', the cost per quality adjusted life year was euro60,000 and eventually dropped to euro28,000.
Abdominal massage may be cost-effective in the long-term and it is relevant to consider it when managing constipation. A crucial aspect will be to identify those who will benefit.
OBJECTIVE: This long-term follow-up recorded the prevalence, aetiology and treatment of hard-to-heal leg and foot ulcers, and an estimated nurses' time spent providing care, for the years 1994-2005. METHOD: A questionnaire was sent to all district and community nurses in the county of Blekinge, Sweden, during one week in 1994, 1998, 2004 and 2005. Calculating the costs of hard-to-heal leg and foot ulcer care was not a primary aim, but the reduction in prevalence and time spent on wound management suggested it was important to illustrate the economic consequences of these changes over time. RESULTS: Estimated prevalence of hard-to-heal leg and foot ulcers reduced from 0.22% in 1994 to 0.15% in 2005. Treatment time decreased from 1.7 hours per patient per week in 1994 to 1.3 hours in 2005. Annual costs of leg and foot ulcer care reduced by SEK 6.96 million in the study area from 1994 to 2005. CONCLUSION: Improved wound management was demonstrated; leg and foot ulcer prevalence and treatment time were reduced. The results could be attributed to an increased interest in leg and foot ulcer care among staff, which was maintained by repeated questionnaires, continuous education, establishment of a wound healing centre in primary care and wound management recommendations from a multidisciplinary group. The improved ulcer care reduced considerably the annual costs of wound management in the area.
This paper is a report of a study to identify the patterns of prescribing by primary health care nurse practitioners for a cohort of older adults.
The older adult population is known to receive complex pharmacotherapy. Monitoring prescribing to older adults can inform quality improvement initiatives. In comparison to other countries, research examining nurse practitioner prescribing in Canada is limited. Nurse practitioner prescribing for older adults is relatively unexplored in the international literature. Although commonly used to study physician prescribing, few studies have used claims data from drug insurance programmes to investigate nurse practitioner prescribing.
Drug claims for prescriptions written by nurse practitioners from fiscal years 2004/05 to 2006/07 for beneficiaries of the Nova Scotia Seniors' Pharmacare programme were analysed. Data were retrieved and analysed in May 2008. Prescribing was described for each drug using the World Health Organization Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical code classification system by usage and costs for each fiscal year.
Antimicrobials and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs consistently represented the top ranked groups for prescription volume and cost. Over the three fiscal years, antimicrobial prescription rates declined relative to rates of other groups of medications. Prescription volume per nurse doubled and cost per prescription increased by approximately 20%.
Prescription claims data can be used to characterize the prescribing trends of nurse practitioners. Research linking patient characteristics, including diagnoses, to prescriptions is needed to assess prescribing quality. Some potential areas of improvement were identified with antimicrobial and non-steroidal antiinflammatory selection.
Although AIDS is often thought of as a "big-city" disease, it is also becoming a serious health care issue for doctors and other health care workers in "small-city" Canada. Kingston, Ont., is one of those small cities, and of the facilities trying to come to grips with a disease about which much remains to be learned. In this article, Drs. Peter Ford and David Robertson outline their hospital's estimate of the cost, in manpower and money, of dealing with the AIDS crisis. The final estimate: roughly $700,000. Although most of the cost will involve one-time capital spending, they point out that there will likely be ongoing labour-related costs because of the special programs and increased manpower needed to deal with AIDS patients. Clearly, AIDS is no longer a big-city disease.
Alternatives to inpatient care that improve quality of care and save money are desirable during periods of restraint on hospital budgets. One such alternative is the care-by-parent unit (CBPU) in which a parent's stay on the ward can reduce costs by resuming nursing tasks, limiting unnecessary procedures, and encouraging early discharge. This study measured costs per case treated in the CBPU compared with the costs for similar patients treated in the inpatient nursing unit (NU). Average costs per episode were lower in the CBPU--33 per cent for general pediatrics, 13.5 per cent for tonsils and adenoids and 29 per cent for other surgery. These savings are capable of considerable expansion because more than half of the admissions to NU meet the criteria for admission to CBPU. If CBPU facilities were expanded, however, the savings estimated above would not follow automatically. New CBPU facilities must substitute for NU, not add to total utilization.
A Canadian specialty nursing association identified the necessity to examine the role and impact of enterostomal (ET) nursing in Canada. We completed a retrospective analysis of the cost-effectiveness and benefits of ET nurse-driven resources for the treatment of acute and chronic wounds in the community.
This was a multicenter retrospective pragmatic chart audit of 3 models of nursing care utilizing 4 community nursing agencies and 1 specialty company owned and operated by ET nurses. An analysis was completed using quantitative methods to evaluate healing outcomes, nursing costs, and cost-effectiveness.
Kaplan-Meier estimates were calculated to determine the average time to 100% healing of acute and chronic wounds and total nursing visit costs for treatment in a community setting. Average direct nursing costs related to management of each wound were determined by number of nursing visits and related reimbursement for each visit. A Monte Carlo simulation method was used to help account for costs and benefits in determination of cost-effectiveness between caring groups and the uncertainty from variation between patients and wounds.
Three hundred sixty chronic wounds and 54 acute surgical wound charts were audited. Involvement of a registered nurse (RN) with ET or advanced wound ostomy skills (AWOS) in community-level chronic and acute wound care was associated with lower overall costs mainly due to reduced time to 100% closure of the wound and reduced number of nursing visits. The differences in health benefits and total costs of nursing care between the ET/AWOS and a hybrid group that includes interventions developed by an ET nurse and followed by general visiting nurses that could include both RNs and registered practical nurses is an expected reduction in healing times of 45 days and an expected cost difference of $5927.00 per chronic wound treated. When outcomes were broken into ET/AWOS involvement categories for treatment of chronic wounds, there was a significantly faster time to 100% closure at a lower mean cost as the ET/AWOS involvement increased in the case. For acute wound treatment, the differences in health benefits and total costs between the ET/AWOS and a hybrid nursing care model were an expected reduction in healing times of 95 days and an expected cost difference of $9578.00 per acute wound treated. Again, there was a significant difference in healing times and reduced mean cost as the ET/AWOS became more involved in the treatment. The financial benefit to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is estimated to increase as the involvement of nurses with ET/AWOS specialty training increases.
The greater the involvement both directly and indirectly of an ET/AWOS nurse in the management of wounds, the greater the savings and the shorter the healing times.
To introduce the Bedside Oral Exam (BOE) and the Barrow Oral Care Protocol (BOCP) to guide oral care for intensive care unit patients. Secondary aim: To explore quality improvement data for incidence of ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP), cost effectiveness of oral hygiene supplies and staff response to change in practice.
Descriptive case design for implementation and evaluation of oral assessments and oral hygiene. Incidence of VAP and the cost of oral care supplies before and after implementation was compared. Staff responses were elicited both pre- and post-implementation.
Incidence of VAP fell significantly from 4.21 to 2.1 per 1000 ventilator days (p =.04). A cost savings of 65% was noted on a monthly basis for oral hygiene supplies. Staff reported increased satisfaction in providing oral hygiene with a combination of oral care products.
A significant reduction in VAP was noted using the BOCP. The BOE guided individualised oral care with contemporary supplies, including a tongue scraper, electric toothbrush, non-foaming toothpaste and oral moisturisers. Cost-effective, comprehensive oral care appears to be effective in reducing VAP. Further studies are needed to assess impact of oral hygiene on oral health and patient comfort.