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Fluids & Electrolytes
PURPOSE: A Canadian specialty nursing association identified the necessity to examine the role and impact of enterostomal (ET) nursing in Canada. We completed a retrospective analysis of the cost-effectiveness and benefits of ET nurse-driven resources for the treatment of acute and chronic wounds in the community.
DESIGN: This was a multicenter retrospective pragmatic chart audit of 3 models of nursing care utilizing 4 community nursing agencies and 1 specialty company owned and operated by ET nurses. An analysis was completed using quantitative methods to evaluate healing outcomes, nursing costs, and cost-effectiveness.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Kaplan-Meier estimates were calculated to determine the average time to 100% healing of acute and chronic wounds and total nursing visit costs for treatment in a community setting. Average direct nursing costs related to management of each wound were determined by number of nursing visits and related reimbursement for each visit. A Monte Carlo simulation method was used to help account for costs and benefits in determination of cost-effectiveness between caring groups and the uncertainty from variation between patients and wounds.
RESULTS: Three hundred sixty chronic wounds and 54 acute surgical wound charts were audited. Involvement of a registered nurse (RN) with ET or advanced wound ostomy skills (AWOS) in community-level chronic and acute wound care was associated with lower overall costs mainly due to reduced time to 100% closure of the wound and reduced number of nursing visits. The differences in health benefits and total costs of nursing care between the ET/AWOS and a hybrid group that includes interventions developed by an ET nurse and followed by general visiting nurses that could include both RNs and registered practical nurses is an expected reduction in healing times of 45 days and an expected cost difference of $5927.00 per chronic wound treated. When outcomes were broken into ET/AWOS involvement categories for treatment of chronic wounds, there was a significantly faster time to 100% closure at a lower mean cost as the ET/AWOS involvement increased in the case. For acute wound treatment, the differences in health benefits and total costs between the ET/AWOS and a hybrid nursing care model were an expected reduction in healing times of 95 days and an expected cost difference of $9578.00 per acute wound treated. Again, there was a significant difference in healing times and reduced mean cost as the ET/AWOS became more involved in the treatment. The financial benefit to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is estimated to increase as the involvement of nurses with ET/AWOS specialty training increases.
CONCLUSIONS: The greater the involvement both directly and indirectly of an ET/AWOS nurse in the management of wounds, the greater the savings and the shorter the healing times.
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