Analysis of hospital length of stay and cost savings with an in-house heparin-induced thrombocytopenia antibody assay at a midsized institution

Caitlin Raymond, Michael O’Rourke, Liesel Dell’Osso, Charles Golding, Christopher Zahner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Analysis of laboratory value often lacks assessment of the laboratory’s impact on quality of care. In this study, we aimed to determine the impact of bringing a heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) antibody assay in-house on a quality metric—patient hospital length of stay (LOS)—and assess any associated cost savings. Methods: A retrospective review of patient visits with a HIT antibody assay over a 7-year period determined the mean LOS in send-out vs in-house HIT antibody assay cohorts as well as cohorts of positive and negative results. Our systemwide mean LOS and metrics of acuity were analyzed. We performed a financial analysis of estimated cost savings. Results: We found a mean LOS reduction of 3.97 days in the in-house cohort, with no evidence of a systemwide LOS decrease or a decline in patient acuity. This reduction was largely driven by a reduction in LOS among patients with a negative assay result. We found an estimated total cost savings of $3.9 million and an estimated mean savings per patient of $7,305, despite escalating health care costs over time. Conclusions: We demonstrated a reduction in LOS following the introduction of an in-house HIT antibody assay that cannot be attributed to either systemwide initiatives or reduced patient acuity and was driven largely by patients with negative assays. This reduction was associated with significant estimated cost savings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-359
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Volume161
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2024

Keywords

  • health care economics
  • heparin-induced thrombocytopenia
  • laboratory management
  • length of stay
  • Length of Stay
  • Hospitals
  • Thrombocytopenia/chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Antibodies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Cost Savings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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