Early Assessment of the Likely Cost Effectiveness of Single-Use Flexible Video Bronchoscopes

from PharmacoEconomics – Open at http://bit.ly/2jK8UTy on January 30, 2017 at 05:42AM



Bronchoscopic procedures are common in the clinical setting, with estimates indicating 500,000 are undertaken per year in the USA alone. These procedures are generally regarded as safe. Unfortunately, a risk of cross-contamination between patients, with possible subsequent infection, is associated with the re-usable technology typically used in these procedures.


Our objective was to conduct an early cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) of single-use flexible video bronchoscope technology compared with the current reusable technology in a US hospital intensive care setting.


We conducted a CEA to determine an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER), and constructed a decision analytic model based on the best available evidence from a literature search and a Delphi panel. We also conducted several one- and two-way sensitivity analyses and a probabilistic sensitivity analysis to illuminate the uncertainty associated with the estimates.


The literature search showed ample evidence of risk, albeit little of it was quantifiable. Estimates from the Delphi method found approximately a 3% risk of cross-contamination and approximately a 21% risk of subsequent infection. Pneumonia was estimated as the most likely manifestation of infection. The CEA showed a saving of $US118 per procedure and elimination of 0.7% of the risk of infection with the single-use technology. Relevant sensitivity analyses generally validated this result.


This study suggests that implementation of the single-use technology in the intensive care unit is cost effective in most scenarios. However, this result should be interpreted with caution because of the lack of certain knowledge on this particular topic.