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Online ISSN 1827-1596
CRITICAL AND INTENSIVE THERAPY
Piacentino V. *, La Grua M., Peruzzi E., Lavacchi L., Barontini L., Giani S., Paolini P.
From the Anaesthesia, Intensive Care and Pain Therapy Unit of the Hospital of Pistoia, Italy
*Anaesthesia, Intensive Care and Pain Therapy Unit of the Hospital of Lucca, Italy
Background. Cost reduction is an important issue in medicine today, especially when considering ICUs, since they account for a large percentage of all hospital expenditure. Through a retrospective analysis of the data regarding the expenses incurred during the years 1996-97, we have been able to evaluate the total costs of our ICU and the influence that each component had on the final costs, thus gathering the necessary information for the improvement of the unit itself.
Methods. Retrospective analysis of a 5-bedded multidisciplinary ICU activity over a two-year period (1996-1997). Cost-related data have been supplied by the Hospital Administration as to wages, infrastructures, equipment buying and maintenance; by Hospital Pharmacy as to drugs and devices supplies; and by Laboratory and Radiology as to diagnostic investigations.
Results. According to our experience, physicians and non-medical staff account for more than 50% of the total expenditure - the latter slightly prevailing. Furthermore, we have assessed that the cost distribution is hardly comparable to that reported by other authors.
Conclusions. It is useful to analyse the total distribution and to evaluate their nature only to gain the necessary data that will lead to a more effective management of the unit. Nevertheless, this methodology is valid within the cost analysis of our ICUs but the ICUs of other countries show great differences in the way they are structured and some of the use more reliable activity-based costing methodology.