The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2010 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Susan Rinaldo-Gallo, Janice J. Thalman; Respiratory Care Services, Duke University Health System, Durham, NC

Background: In the last 10 years acceptance and use of Long- Acting Beta Agonists (LABA) has increased. LABA provide a maintenance level of beta agonists for up to 24 hours. Use of LABAs is reported to decrease the use of Short-Acting Beta Agonists (SABA). The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of LABA use on SABA volume delivered to inpatients in an academic medical center. Three aspects were examined: the number of LABA and SABA treatments delivered, the cost, and the therapist time required to provide treatments. Methods: The volume and type of Beta Agonists delivered on 3 medicine units (100 beds total) where retrospectively examined from 2005 – 2009. Therapist’s documentation and billing records from the departmental information system was used for analysis. Over this five year period there were no changes in beta agonist protocols and the patient population on these units remained stable. Prices used in analysis are from “A Guide to Aerosol Delivery Devices for RT,” Arzu, et. al.,2009. The times standards used for treatments are from the AARC’s Uniform Reporting Manual, 4th ed.; 15.47 minutes for nebulizer and 9.24 minutes for MDI/DPI. The therapist rate of pay used was $25.00 per hour. Results: SABA treatments decreased by 5,828 and LABA treatments increased by 1,499. The net result was that 4,329 (14%) fewer beta agonist treatments (nebulizer, MDI and DPI). The time savings was 1320.6 hours. The cost savings in therapist pay was $33,015 (not including benefits). The cost increase for medication was $1,128. Conclusions: The increased use of LABAs has resulted in the administration of fewer SABA in three inpatient medical units. The savings reported are based on analysis of 100 beds, which represent 15% of our intermediate care beds. Given the relatively small number of beds studied, the reduction in the number of treatments, cost and time savings is felt to be significant. Sponsored Research - None Quanity of SABA and LABA Administered in Medical Areas