The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care
BACKGROUND: Standard small volume nebulizer (stSVN) therapy is still frequently ordered in the hospital. A survey of area hospitals demonstrated an average >50,000 stSVN floor treatments performed yearly. We have demonstrated that dosimeter-controlled small volume nebulization (dcSVN) gives effective bronchodilation with a short treatment time. Thus, use of dcSVN by a Respiratory Care Practitioner may be a cost effective alternative to stSVN.
Methods: This study used a cost minimization analysis to compare the direct total costs between dcSVN therapy and stSVN therapy to deliver the drug albuterol. Overhead costs, gas delivery equipment, disposable equipment, and medication for each method were assumed to be equal. Therefore, the unique variables for cost analysis were the aerosol delivery time for each method and the capital costs for the dcSVN equipment. A range (10-15 minutes) of aerosol delivery time for stSVN was obtained from the American Association for Respiratory Care's Uniform Reporting Manual 3rd ed. A previous study revealed less than 2 minutes was necessary to deliver a 180
Results: Conversion cost savings ($) and FTE position savings are represented below. Any FTE position savings could theoretically result in additional employee benefits savings to the institution, thus, increasing overall costs savings.
|stSVN Conversion Savings ($)||FTE Savings|
|dcSVN||25% (12,500 Txs)||50% (25,000 Txs)||75% (37,500 Txs)|
|min/ ||10 min||12 min||14 min||10 min||12 min||14 min||10 min||12 min||14 min||8 hr shift||12 hr shift|
While portable dosimeter systems currently retail for approximately $700 to $1700 per unit, overall costs savings are minimally decreased when comparing dcSVN to the typical 14 minute stSVN.