Article

Multidisciplinary approach decreases length of stay and reduces cost for ventricular assist device therapy.

Department of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin 53792, USA.
Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery (Impact Factor: 1.11). 10/2008; 8(1):84-8. DOI: 10.1510/icvts.2008.187377
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT High implantation costs and long postoperative length of stay (LOS) in debilitated patients complicate ventricular assist device (VAD) therapy. Between July 2000 and February 2005, 30 patients received a VAD at our institution. Of those, 20 patients were successfully discharged from the hospital with VADs. In August 2003, a multidisciplinary team was formed consisting of all services for VAD patients to replace a single-discipline (cardiac surgery) system. This team evaluated potential VAD candidates and identified optimal timing for implantation. These 20 VAD patients were divided into two groups according to the initiation of multidisciplinary team; the traditional group (n=7, July 2000-July 2003) and the multidisciplinary group (n=13, August 2003-February 2005). Patient demographics were not different. The LOS decreased from 61 to 15 days (P<0.01), especially LOS on the floor decreased from 35 to 7 days (P=0.03). The floor cost was significantly reduced ($47,111 vs. $8742, P<0.01), leading to a decrease in total postoperative cost ($202,238 vs. $161,744, P<0.01). The 30-day readmission rate decreased (5/7 patients vs. 1/13 patients, P<0.01). A multidisciplinary approach significantly decreased LOS and cost after VAD therapy, mostly by decreasing the cost of routine non-ICU care, without increasing the readmission rate.

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