To estimate the change in average cost and length of stay (LOS) for the neonatal birth admission resulting from use of the neonatal early-onset sepsis (EOS) calculator compared to guideline-based management, in an Australian perinatal health-care setting.
A decision-analytic model (decision tree) was constructed to assess admission cost and LOS with EOS calculator use compared to guideline-based management. Probabilities of clinical sepsis-related outcomes were obtained via review of published literature. Costs and average LOS were obtained from Australia’s Independent Hospital Pricing Authority.
EOS calculator use was associated with a reduction in costs of AUD$25806 and in average LOS of 25.4 days per 1000 babies born. Sensitivity analyses demonstrated greater net benefits could be expected for services where there is a higher baseline rate of antibiotic use.
This model demonstrates a significant cost reduction for the neonatal birth admission, associated with use of the EOS calculator as compared to existing guidelines. The net benefit may be greater in Australia, where rates of empiric antibiotic use are reportedly high, compared to some European countries and the United States. Future research opportunities include prospective collection of economic data alongside the introduction of the EOS calculator.