Treatments costs associated with inpatient clinical deterioration

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Aims: This study aimed to quantify the health economic treatment costs of clinical deterioration of patients within 72 h of admission via the emergency department. Methods: This study was conducted between March 2018 and February 2019 in two hospitals in regional New South Wales, Australia. All patients admitted via the emergency department were screened for clinical deterioration (defined as initiation of a medical emergency team call, cardiac arrest or unplanned admission to Intensive Care Unit) within 72 h through the site clinical deterioration databases. Patient characteristics, including pre-existing conditions, diagnosis and administrative data were collected. Results: 1600 patients clinically deteriorated within 72 h of hospital admission. Linked treatment cost data were available for 929 (58%) of these patients across 352 Australian Refined Diagnosis Related Groups. The average (standard deviation) treatment costs for patients who deteriorated within 72 h was $26,778 ($34,007) compared to $7727 ($12,547). The average hospital length of stay of the deterioration group was nearly 8 days longer than patients without deterioration. When controlling for length of stay and Australian Refined Diagnosis Related Group codes, the incremental cost per episode of deterioration was $14,134. Conclusion: Clinical deterioration within 72 h of admission is associated with increased treatment costs irrespective of diagnosis, hospital length of stay and age. Implementation of interventions known to prevent patient deterioration require evaluation.

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