Background: The cost of spinal cord injuries is a huge burden on the healthcare system. Costs vary from acute hospital admission to chronic rehabilitation and lifelong medical expenses. The true cost of a spinal cord injury admission to a spinal cord injury unit is not known. This study is the first of its kind to be conducted at Groote Schuur Hospital and there is limited published data on similar previous studies, especially in South Africa. The outcomes of this study can help to ensure the appropriate allocation of funding and distribution of resources in the healthcare system. The study aimed to obtain an overall figure of the cost per patient per day in the acute spinal cord injuries ward and its intensive care unit. Objectives: To determine the per patient per day cost of the wards. Methodology: Prospective audit of acute spinal cord injury unit ward and ICU costs at Groote Schuur Hospital over a 24-hour period. The audit included objective and calculated costs of services required to run the wards as well as consumables, investigations, and staffing. Accurate measures of obtaining and measuring these costs were performed and a per patient per day cost was calculated. Results: The study has shown that it will cost R4186.98 per patient per day in the acute spinal cord injuries ward and R28176.77 per patient per day in the acute spinal cord injuries intensive care unit. It is 6.73 times more costly to be a patient in the intensive care unit than it is to be in the ward. Conclusion: This study revealed and confirmed that it is cheaper for a patient to be admitted into the acute spinal cord injuries ward than into the acute spinal cord injuries intensive care unit over a 24-hour period. It shows that appropriate management of bed occupancy and down referral from ICU to general wards or from wards to step-down facilities will drastically reduce the cost of admission. This study aims to provide a foundation for future research on this topic.
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doi: 10.1177/21925682211031190. Epub 2021 Jul 21. PMID: 34289308; PMCID: PMC9210246.
How to cite this paper
Cost Analysis of the Acute Spinal Cord Injury Ward and ICU Costs at a Tertiary Hospital in South Africa: What Is the Cost Per Patient Per Day?
How to cite this paper: Schalk Klopper, Nicholas Kruger. (2023) Cost Analysis of the Acute Spinal Cord Injury Ward and ICU Costs at a Tertiary Hospital in South Africa: What Is the Cost Per Patient Per Day? International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine Research, 7(4), 538-543.