Background: Isolation precautions are recommended when caring for patients identified with highly resistant micro-organisms (HRMOs). However, the direct costs of patients in isolation are largely unknown. Aim: To obtain detailed information on the daily direct costs associated with isolating patients identified with HRMOs. Methods: This study was performed from November until December 2017 on a 12-bed surgical ward. This ward contained solely isolation rooms with anterooms. The daily direct costs of isolation were based on three cost items: (1) additional personal protective equipment (PPE), measured by counting the consumption of empty packaging materials; (2) cleaning and disinfection of the isolation room, based on the costs of an outsourced cleaning company; and (3) additional workload for healthcare workers, based on literature and multiplied by the average gross hourly salary of nurses. A distinction was made between the costs for strict isolation, contact-plus isolation, and contact isolation. Findings: During the study period, 26 patients were nursed in isolation because of HRMO carriage. Time for donning and doffing of PPE was 31 min per day. The average daily direct costs of isolation were the least expensive for contact isolation (gown, gloves), €28/$31, and the most expensive for strict isolation (surgical mask, gloves, gown, cap), €41/$47. Conclusion: Using a novel, easy method to estimate consumption of PPE, we conclude that the daily direct costs of isolating a patient differ per type of isolation. Insight into the direct costs of isolation is of utmost importance when developing or updating infection prevention policies.

Costs, Highly resistant micro-organisms, Infection prevention and control, Isolation, Personal protective equipment,
Journal of Hospital Infection

van Dijk, M.D, Voor in 't holt, A.F, Polinder, S, Severin, J.A, & Vos, M.C. (M. C.). (2021). The daily direct costs of isolating patients identified with highly resistant micro-organisms in a non-outbreak setting. Journal of Hospital Infection, 109, 88–95. doi:10.1016/j.jhin.2020.12.013