Cost-effectiveness of a quality improvement programme to reduce central line-associated bloodstream infections in intensive care units in the USA

Kurt R. Herzer, Louis Niessen, Dagna O. Constenla, William J. Ward, Peter J. Pronovost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To assess the cost-effectiveness of a multifaceted quality improvement programme focused on reducing central line-associated bloodstream infections in intensive care units. Design: Cost-effectiveness analysis using a decision tree model to compare programme to non-programme intensive care units. Setting: USA. Population: Adult patients in the intensive care unit. Costs: Economic costs of the programme and of central line-associated bloodstream infections were estimated from the perspective of the hospital and presented in 2013 US dollars. Main outcome measures: Central line-associated bloodstream infections prevented, deaths averted due to central line-associated bloodstream infections prevented, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis was performed. Results: Compared with current practice, the programme is strongly dominant and reduces bloodstream infections and deaths at no additional cost. The probabilistic sensitivity analysis showed that there was an almost 80% probability that the programme reduces bloodstream infections and the infections' economic costs to hospitals. The opportunity cost of a bloodstream infection to a hospital was the most important model parameter in these analyses. Conclusions: This multifaceted quality improvement programme, as it is currently implemented by hospitals on an increasingly large scale in the USA, likely reduces the economic costs of central line-associated bloodstream infections for US hospitals. Awareness among hospitals about the programme's benefits should enhance implementation. The programme's implementation has the potential to substantially reduce morbidity, mortality and economic costs associated with central line-associated bloodstream infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere006065
JournalBMJ open
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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