OBJECTIVE: To estimate the wound-care related costs in two hospitals in Denmark.
METHOD: A point-prevalence survey with a focus on resource consumption was carried out during a representative 1-week period in March 20 I 0, in two hospitals in Denmark: Regional Hospital Viborg, in the Viborg Municipality and Hillerod Hospital, in the Horsholm Municipality. Data were collected during a 2-day period for inpatients and outpatients in the hospitals and over a full week in the municipalities. The survey included information on the numbers, types and locations of the wounds, as well as resource consumption related to dressing changes. The estimation of costs was based on representative cost levels, including the salaries of health professionals or nurses and the cost of dressings and hospitalisation provided.
RESULTS: In total, 33% (n=830) of inpatients had a wound. The majority of these were surgical/trauma wounds (25%), while pressure ulcers, leg ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers accounted for 3.3%, 1.7% and 1.6%, respectively. In the municipalities, there was a wound patient prevalence of 2.8 per I 000 population(I I I 000 acute wounds, 0.7/ I 000 pressure ulcers, 0.5/ I 000 leg ulcers and 0.3/ I 000 diabetic foot ulcers).The extrapolated figures for nurse time related to wound care per year was equivalent to I 0 full-time nurse positions in Hillerod Hospital, three in Viborg Hospital, 17 in Viborg Municipality and three in Horsholm Municipality. The total annual costs related to wound care was estimated as €3.6 million for Viborg Hospital, €4.1 million for Hillemd Hospital, € 1.2 million for Viborg Municipality and €232 548 for Horsholm Municipality, accounting for approximately 1.8% (Viborg), 1.6% (Hillerod), 2.4% (Viborg) and1.5% (Horsholm) of the total annual budgets.
CONCLUSION: In the survey, 33% of the patients treated in the hospitals had a wound. Primary costs were defined as hospitalisation costs and nurse time related to dressing changes. Total annual costs of treatment, including hospitalisation, were estimated as approximately 1.6-1.8% for the hospitals and 1.5-2.4% for the municipalities. The level of costs support the relevance of increased efforts to secure better wound prevention and treatment to reduce the staff-time consumption and hospitalisation costs.
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