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Cost Savings Analysis of Early Extubation Following Congenital Heart Surgery


The clinical benefit of early extubation following congenital heart surgery has been demonstrated; however, its effect on resource utilization has not been rigorously evaluated. We sought to determine the cost savings of implementing an early extubation pathway for children undergoing surgery for congenital heart disease. We performed a cost savings analysis after implementation of an early extubation strategy among children undergoing congenital heart surgery at British Columbia Children’s Hospital (BCCH) over a 2.5-year period. All patients undergoing one of the eight Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) benchmark operations, ASD repair, or bidirectional cavopulmonary anastomosis were included in the analysis (n = 370). We compared our data to aggregate STS multi-institutional data from a contemporary cohort. We estimated daily costs for ICU care, ward care, medications, imaging, additional procedures, and allied health care using an administrative database. Direct costs, indirect costs, and cost savings were estimated. Simulation methods, Monte Carlo, and bootstrapping were used to calculate the 95% credible intervals for all estimates. The mean cost savings per procedure was $12,976 and the total estimated cost savings over the study period at BCCH was $4.8 million with direct costs accounting for 91% of cost savings. Sensitivity analysis demonstrated a mean cost savings range of $11,934–$14,059 per procedure. Early extubation is associated with substantial cost savings due to reduced hospital resource utilization. Implementation of an early extubation strategy following congenital heart surgery may contribute to improved resource utilization.

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Correspondence to K. C. Harris.

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Holowachuk, S., Zhang, W., Gandhi, S.K. et al. Cost Savings Analysis of Early Extubation Following Congenital Heart Surgery. Pediatr Cardiol 40, 138–146 (2019).

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