April 21, 2024

New Study Finds Routine Changing of Surgical Gloves and Instruments is Cost-Effective and Safer

A recent study conducted at 80 hospitals in various countries has found that routinely changing surgical gloves and instruments is not only cost-effective but also safer. The study, published in The Lancet Global Health, follows a clinical trial conducted in Benin, Ghana, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Africa, which showed that the routine change of gloves and instruments reduces the risk of surgical site infections (SSIs) by 13%.

The economic evaluation, which serves as a follow-up to the trial, compares the costs and SSIs associated with routine changes versus the current practice of reusing gloves and instruments. It was found that the average cost of implementing the routine change intervention was US$259.92, compared to $261.10 for the current practice.

Lead author Mr. Mwayi Kachapila, a Health Economist from the University of Birmingham, highlights the importance of cost-effectiveness in healthcare programs. SSIs often result in high treatment costs, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and implementing the routine change intervention would help reduce this burden for patients, healthcare systems, and societies.

In addition to reducing costs, lowering the incidence of SSIs also minimizes patient recovery time and helps alleviate the financial burdens faced by patients, particularly in LMICs where patients often bear the cost of their treatment. Furthermore, this initiative can free up hospital bed space, allowing for better allocation and utilization of resources.

Tracy Roberts, Professor of Health Economics at the University of Birmingham, who supervised the economic evaluation, emphasizes the importance of making small shifts in routine practices to achieve significant benefits. In resource-constrained settings, generating savings in one area allows for the allocation of resources to other important areas. The paper highlights how simple modeling of alternative approaches and their respective costs can guide decision makers in achieving optimal outcomes.

It is worth mentioning that the study incorporates data from the literature to enhance the robustness of the analysis, especially when trial cost data are insufficient. By including relevant data from various sources, the study provides a comprehensive evaluation of the economic implications of routine changes in surgical gloves and instruments.

In conclusion, the study demonstrates that routinely changing surgical gloves and instruments is both cost-effective and safer. By reducing the incidence of SSIs, this intervention not only saves costs but also improves patient outcomes and optimizes resource allocation in healthcare settings. The findings of this study have important implications for healthcare programs, particularly in LMICs, where minimizing costs while maintaining quality care is crucial.

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1.      Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2.      We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it