Background: We hypothesize that reusable, on-site specialty instrument trays available to plastic surgery residents in the emergency department (ED) for bedside procedures are more cost-effective than disposable on-site and remote re-usable operating room (OR) instruments at our institution. Methods: We completed a cost-effectiveness analysis comparing the use of disposable on-site kits and remote OR trays to a hypothetical, custom, reusable tray for ED procedures completed by PRS residents. Material costs of existing OR trays were used to estimate the purchasing and use-cost of a custom on-site tray for the same procedures. Cost of per procedure 'consult time' was estimated using procedure and resident salary. Results: Sixteen bedside procedures were completed over a 4.5 month period. A mean of 2.14 disposable kits were used per-procedure. Mean consultation time was 1.66 hours. Procedures that used OR trays took 3 times as long as procedures that used on-site kits (4 vs. 1.1 hours). Necessary, additional instruments were unavailable for 75% of procedures. Mean cost of using disposable kits and OR trays was $115.03/ procedure versus an estimated $26.67/procedure cost of using a custom tray, yielding $88.36/procedure cost-savings. Purchase of a single custom tray ($1,421.55) would be redeemed after 2.3 weeks at 1 procedure/day. Purchasing 4 trays has projected annual cost-savings of $26,565.20. Conclusion: The purchase of specialized procedure trays will yield valuable time and cost-savings while providing quality patient care. Improving time efficiency will help achieve the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) goals of maintaining resident well-being and developing quality improvement competency.
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