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ICU and non-ICU cost per day. Open Access


Author or creator
Norris, C. M.
Jacobs, P.
Rapoport, J.
Hamilton, S.
Additional contributors
intensive care
nursing research
Type of item
Journal Article (Published)
The purpose of this study was to compare the cost of a day spent in an intensive care unit and a day spent on a general nursing unit. A descriptive design was used, based on patient level data, to examine and compare unit costs per day for each of the ICU and non-ICU portions of a patient’s hospital stay. Records from 386 patients who were treated in a general medical/surgical ICU were analyzed. Records for patients who received both ICU and non-ICU care during their stay were retained. Patients were categorized according to whether they had received surgical care prior to admission to the ICU (surgical group) or had no surgical care (medical group). The groups were further divided, based on whether they were discharged from hospital (survivors), or died following transfers from the ICU (non-survivors). All four groups; surgical or medical, survivors and non-survivors, were analyzed separately. The ICU direct costs per day for survivors were between six and seven times those for non-ICU care. A one day substitution of general ward for ICU care would result in a cost reduction of $1,200 per patient for survivors. The results suggest that the savings achieved by moving a patient from ICU to non-ICU care are considerable, particularly for less severe surviving patients. In making such decisions, however, clinicians must examine prospective benefits as well as costs. If the health outcomes are not influenced, the savings from substitution are considerable, and there is a strong economic argument for substitution.
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© 1995 Springer. This version of...
Citation for previous publication
Norris C , Jacobs P , Rapoport J , Hamilton S. ICU and non-ICU cost per day. Canadian journal of anaesthesia = Journal canadien d'anesthésie 42.3 (1995).
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