PURPOSE: An Interventional Pulmonology (IP) program incurs costs associated with damage to expensive equipment. Many tools are either very sharp or carry extreme temperatures through them. Several years ago, after initiating our IP program, we observed significant repair costs to our bronchoscopes and initiated an educational program in 2001 to address these issues. We reviewed our experience over the last six years.
METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the repair costs associated with our IP program as well as procedure records to correlate the types of damage, whether or not the damage was preventable and the actual cost per procedure.
RESULTS: In the three years prior to IP (96–98), the average cost/procedure was $42. In the three years following the beginning of IP but before education program (99–2001) the average cost/procedure was $50.28. For the six years following the education program (2002–2007) the average cost/procedure has been $12.40.
CONCLUSION: Diligent review of repair records with regular discussions at staff meetings keep the importance of these issues alive and have made the end users cognizant that they directly affect the financial success of a program by keeping repair costs low. For an institution performing 1000 bronchoscopies/yr, this represents a savings of $37,880/yr (US). Given the average reimbursement to the hospital of $580 for standard bronchoscopy, the portion of money spent on repairs decreased from 8.7% to 2.1% per procedure.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Even though the average cost per procedure decreased significantly, we discovered that the cost of preventable damage averaged 2.5 times that of non preventable damage. This represents a large potential additional cost savings and is the focus on future efforts.
DISCLOSURE: Robert Garland, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information