Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Economic Impact of a New Rapid PCR Assay for Detecting Influenza Virus in an Emergency Department and Hospitalized Patients

Soto, Marcelo and Sampietro-Colom, Laura and Vilella, Anna and Marcos, María Ángeles (2016): Economic Impact of a New Rapid PCR Assay for Detecting Influenza Virus in an Emergency Department and Hospitalized Patients. Published in: Plos One , Vol. 11, No. 1 (20 January 2016)

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Abstract

Seasonal influenza causes significant morbidity and mortality and has a substantial economic impact on the healthcare system. The main objective of this study was to compare the cost per patient for a rapid commercial PCR assay (Xpert1 Flu) with an in-house real-time PCR test for detecting influenza virus. Community patients with influenza like-illness attending the Emergency Department (ED) as well as hospitalized patients in the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona were included. Costs were evaluated from the perspective of the hospital considering the use of resources directly related to influenza testing and treatment. For the purpose of this study, 366 and 691 patients were tested in 2013 and 2014, respectively. The Xpert1 Flu test reduced the mean waiting time for patients in the ED by 9.1 hours and decreased the mean isolation time of hospitalized patients by 23.7 hours. This was associated with a 103€ (or about $113) reduction in the cost per patient tested in the ED and 64€ ($70) per hospitalized patient. Sensitivity analyses showed that Xpert1 Flu is likely to be cost-saving in hospitals with different contexts and prices.

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