Background: Mechanical ventilation services are an important driver of the high costs of intensive care. An optimal interaction between a patient and a ventilator is therefore paramount. Suboptimal interaction is present when patients repeatedly demand, but do not receive, breathing support from a mechanical ventilator (> 30 times in 3 min), also known as an ineffective effort event (IEEV). IEEVs are associated with increased hospital mortality prolonged intensive care stay, and prolonged time on ventilation and thus development of real-time analytics that identify IEEVs is essential. To assist decision-making about further development we estimate the potential cost-effectiveness of real-time analytics that identify ineffective effort events.
Methods: We developed a cost-effectiveness model combining a decision tree and Markov model for long-term outcomes with data on current care from a Greek hospital and literature. A lifetime horizon and a healthcare payer perspective were used. Uncertainty about the results was assessed using sensitivity and scenario analyses to examine the impact of varying parameters like the intensive care costs per day and the effectiveness of treatment of IEEVs.
Results: Use of the analytics could lead to reduced mortality (3% absolute reduction), increased quality adjusted life years (0.21 per patient) and cost-savings (€264 per patient) compared to current care. Moreover, cost-savings for hospitals and health improvements can be incurred even if the treatment’s effectiveness is reduced from 30 to 10%. The estimated savings increase to €1,155 per patient in countries where costs of an intensive care day are high (e.g. the Netherlands). There is considerable headroom for development and the analytics generate savings when the price of the analytics per bed per year is below €7,307. Furthermore, even when the treatment’s effectiveness is 10%, the probability that the analytics are cost-effective exceeds 90%.
Conclusions: Implementing real-time analytics to identify ineffective effort events can lead to health and financial benefits. Therefore, it will be worthwhile to continue assessment of the effectiveness of the analytics in clinical practice and validate our findings. Eventually, their adoption in settings where costs of an intensive care day are high and ineffective efforts are frequent could yield a high return on investment.

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Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Bakker, L., Vaporidi, K., Aarts, J., & Redekop, K. (2020). The potential of real-time analytics to improve care for mechanically ventilated patients in the intensive care unit. Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation, 18(1). doi:10.1186/s12962-020-00254-4