Cost-analysis of seven nosocomial outbreaks in an academic hospital

Jan-Willem H. Dik, Ariane D. Dinkelacker, Pepijn Vemer, Jerome R. Lo-Ten-Foe, Mariette Lokate, Bhanu Sinha, Alex W. Friedrich, Maarten J. Postma

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Nosocomial outbreaks, especially with (multi-)resistant microorganisms, are a major problem for health care institutions. They can cause morbidity and mortality for patients and controlling these costs substantial amounts of funds and resources. However, how much is unclear. This study sets out to provide a comparable overview of the costs of multiple outbreaks in a single academic hospital in the Netherlands.

Based on interviews with the involved staff, multiple databases and stored records from the Infection Prevention Division all actions undertaken, extra staff employment, use of resources, bed-occupancy rates, and other miscellaneous cost drivers during different outbreaks were scored and quantified into Euros. This led to total costs per outbreak and an estimated average cost per positive patient per outbreak day.

Seven outbreaks that occurred between 2012 and 2014 in the hospital were evaluated. Total costs for the hospital ranged between €10,778 and €356,754. Costs per positive patient per outbreak day, ranged between €10 and €1,369 (95% CI: €49-€1,042), with a mean of €546 and a median of €519. Majority of the costs (50%) were made because of closed beds.

This analysis is the first to give a comparable overview of various outbreaks, caused by different microorganisms, in the same hospital and all analyzed with the same method. It shows a large variation within the average costs due to different factors (e.g. closure of wards, type of ward). All outbreaks however cost considerable amounts of efforts and money (up to €356,754), including missed revenue and control measures.
Original languageEnglish
Article number e0149226
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10-Feb-2016


  • Infection Control

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