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Volume 9, Number 2—February 2003

Research

Health and Economic Impact of Surgical Site Infections Diagnosed after Hospital Discharge

Eli N. Perencevich*†Comments to Author , Kenneth E. Sands*†, Sara E. Cosgrove*, Edward Guadagnoli‡, Ellen Meara‡, and Richard Platt§†‡
Author affiliations: *Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; †Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Eastern Massachusetts Prevention Epicenter, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; ‡Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; §Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Main Article

Table 4

Univariate analysis of 8-week postoperative resource utilization, surgical site infections (SSIs) studya


Cases N=89
Controls N=178

Medians or proportions Means Medians or proportions Means p value
Outpatient visit use





Required outpatient visit
85 (96)

153 (86)

<0.001b
Outpatient visits per patient
5 [4, 9]
7.5 (+/-6.3)
3 [1, 5]
3.4 (+/-3.0)
<0.02c
Estimated outpatient visit costs
$265 [$223, $430]
$365 (+/-264)
$146 [$63, $229]
$160(+/-128)
<0.001c
Lab test ordered by provider
69 (78)

143 (80)

0.66b
No. of lab tests ordered
1 [1, 3]
2.1 (+/-2.5)
1 [1, 2]
2.0 (+/-2.3)
0.58c
Patient phoned provider
77 (87)

125 (70)

0.002b
No. of phone calls made
3 [2, 6]
4.7 (+/-4.8)
1 [0, 4]
3.0(+/-3.8)
0.00c
Pharmacy use





Standard wholesale costs 
 for antibiotics per patient
$34.2 [$78.6, 10.6]
$60 (+/-71.6)
$0 [$0, $0]
$13.6(44.2)
<0.001c
Emergency room use





Patient visits to emergency room
28 (31)

16 (9)

<0.001b
Emergency room charges per patient
$0 [$0, $370]
$333 (+/-729)
$0 [$0, $0]
$114 (+/-470)
<0.001c
Radiology services use





Patients who had a radiologic test
36 (40)

49 (28)

0.023b
Radiology charges per patient
$0 [$0, $242]
$1,076 (+/-3,845)
$0 [$0, 124]
$587 (+/-2365)
0.022c
Rehospitalization





Patients rehospitalized
30 (34)

21 (12)

<0.001b
Total rehospitalization charges
$0 [$0, $4,370]
$7,925 (+/-22,321)
$0[$0, $0]
$2,079 (+/-11,222)
<0.001c
Total rehospitalization costs
$0 [$0, $1,924]
$3,489 (+/-9,827)
$0[$0, $0]
$916 (+/-4,941)
<0.001c
Visited by provider in hospital
46(52)

61(34)

0.008b
Inpatient provider visits
1 [0, 6]
3.5 (+/-4.5)
0 [0, 3]
2.2 (+/-5.3)
<0.001c
Skilled nursing facility use





Skilled nursing facility used
8 (9)

8 (4.5)

0.09b
Days in skilled nursing facility
0 [0, 0]
0.21 (+/-0.83)
0 [0, 0]
.21 (+/-1.8)
0.97c
Skilled nursing charges per patient
$0 [$0, $0]
$460 (+/-2,198)
$0 [$0, $0]
$204 (+/-1,651)
0.14c
Home health aide use





Home health aide used
55 (62)

84 (47)

0.009b
Home health charges per patient
$110 [$0, $605]
$827 (+/-1,765)
$0 [$0, $275]
$579 (+/-2,812)
0.007c
Durable equipment use





Durable medical equipment used
33 (37)

39 (22)

0.008b
Durable medical charges per patient
$0 [$0, $102]
$123 (+/-436)
$0 [$0, $0]
$69 (+/-223)
0.013c
Total costsd $1,240 [$445, $4,594] $5,155 (+/-10,8570 $300 [$146, $795] $1,773 (+/-6,344 <0.001c

aResults are shown as no. (%), mean (+/- standard deviation) or median [interquartile range] along with p value for comparison of cases with SSI to controls without SSI.

bCohran-Mantel-Haenszel.

c Wilcoxon signed-ranks test.

dTotal costs encompass all emergency, radiology, readmission, skilled nursing, home health, and durable medical charges that have been converted to costs with a cost-to-charge ratio and all estimated outpatient visit and antibiotic costs.

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