The researchers analyzed the cost of supplies and staff overtime required for hospitals to prepare for the West African outbreak of the Ebola viral disease that threatened to become a global health crisis.
(TNS) - A national study by doctors at Rhode Island Hospital estimates U.S. hospitals' response to the Ebola crisis in 2014 cost, conservatively, some $360 million.
The study, published earlier this week in the journal "Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology", was authored by Dr. Michael A. Smit , a pediatric infectious diseases specialist and associate medical director of the Department of Epidemiology & Infection Control, and Dr. Leonard A. Mermel, an adult infectious diseases specialist and medical director of the Department of Epidemiology & Infection Control. The doctors collaborated with colleagues from The Joint Commission, University of Maryland Medical Center and Johns Hopkins Hospital on the study, "Ebola Preparedness Resources for Acute-Care Hospitals in the United States: A Cross-Sectional Study of Costs, Benefits, and Challenges."
The researchers analyzed the cost of supplies and staff overtime required for hospitals to prepare for the West African outbreak of the Ebola viral disease that threatened to become a global health crisis. The study also examined the challenges, benefits and perceived value of preparedness efforts.
Responses were collected from more than 200 hospitals in 45 states and the District of Columbia.
Significant findings include:
• Overall cost for acute care hospitals in the U.S. to prepare for possible Ebola viral disease cases: $361,108,968.
• The average amount spent by hospitals on supply and overtime labor costs: $80,461.
• Supply and staff costs ranged from $1,457 to $760,367. Adjusted for bed count, those costs were between $159 and $250,000 per 100 beds.
• Overtime cost in smaller hospitals was more than three times greater than larger hospitals.
• The leading challenge was difficulty obtaining supplies from vendors due to shortages.
• The greatest benefit cited was improved knowledge about personal protective equipment
"The financial impact of Ebola virus disease preparedness activities was substantial,'' Dr. Mermel said in a statement released by Rhode Island Hospital's health network, Lifespan. "The evidence makes a strong case that future emerging infectious disease identification, triage, and management should be conducted at the regional and national levels to facilitate efficient and appropriate allocation of resources in acute care
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