Hospital resource utilization and costs of inappropriate treatment of candidemia

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Study Objectives. To evaluate the impact of inappropriate therapy - defined as delayed antifungal therapy beyond 24 hours from culture collection, inadequate antifungal dosage, or administration of an antifungal to which an isolate was considered resistant - on postculture hospital length of stay and costs, and to evaluate the relationship between modifiable risk factors, including failure to remove a central venous catheter, antifungal delay, and inadequate dosage, for an additive effect on hospital length of stay and costs. Design. Single-center retrospective cohort study. Setting. 1250-bed academic medical center. Patients. One hundred sixty-seven consecutive adult patients admitted between January 2004 and May 2006 with culture-confirmed Candida bloodstream infections that occurred within 14 days of hospital admission and who received at least one dose of antifungal treatment. Measurements and Main Results. Patients were stratified according to appropriateness of antifungal therapy. Appropriate therapy was defined as initiation of an antifungal to which the isolated pathogen was sensitive in vitro within 24 hours of positive culture collection, in addition to receipt of an adequate dose as recommended by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the antifungal package insert. Postculture length of stay was the primary outcome and hospital costs the secondary outcome. An evaluation of modifiable risk factors was performed separately. Data were analyzed for 167 patients (22 in the appropriate therapy group and 145 in the inappropriate therapy group). Postculture length of stay was shorter in the appropriate therapy group (mean 7 vs 10.4 days, p=0.037). This correlated with total hospital costs that were lower in the appropriate therapy group (mean $15,832 vs $33,021, p<0.001.) A graded increase in costs was noted with increasing number of modifiable risk factors (p=0.001). Conclusion. Inappropriate therapy for Candida bloodstream infection occurring within 14 days of hospitalization was associated with prolonged postculture length of stay and increased costs. A rise in costs, but not length of stay, was noted with increasing modifiable risk factors.

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