Are educational interventions to prevent catheter-related bloodstream infections in intensive care unit cost-effective?

K. Cooper*, G. Frampton, P. Harris, J. Jones, T. Cooper, N. Graves, J. Cleland, J. Shepherd, A. Clegg, B. H. Cuthbertson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Background: There is increasing interest in evidence-based educational interventions in central venous catheter care. It is unclear how effective these are at reducing the risk of bloodstream infections from the use of intravascular catheters (catheter-BSIs) and the associated costs and health benefits.

Aim: To estimate the additional costs and health benefits from introducing such interventions and the costs associated with catheter-BSIs.

Methods: A comprehensive epidemiological and economic review was performed to develop the parameters for an economic model to assess the cost-effectiveness of introducing an educational intervention compared with clinical practice without the intervention. The model follows the clinical pathway of cohorts of patients from their admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), where some may acquire catheter-BSI, and estimates the associated costs, mortality and life expectancy.

Findings: The additional cost per catheter-BSI episode was 3940 pound. The results of this model demonstrate that introducing an additional educational intervention to prevent catheter-BSI improved patient life expectancy and reduced overall costs.

Conclusion: Introducing evidence-based education is likely to reduce the incidence of catheter-BSI and the model results suggest that the cost of introducing the interventions will be outweighed by savings related to reduced ICU bed occupancy costs. Crown Copyright (C) 2013 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of the Healthcare Infection Society. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-52
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
Issue number1
Early online date21 Sept 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

Bibliographical note

We thank the members of the Advisory Group for their input, namely J. Bion, A. Jackson, A. Richardson, T. Roberts, K. Scales, B. Williams, and D. Wyncoll. We also thank J. Bryant, D. Mendes, J. Picot, and K. Welch for their contributions to the project. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Health.

This work was commissioned by National Institute of Health Research Health Technology Assessment programme as project number 09/01/25.


  • care bundle
  • catheter bloodstream infection
  • central venous catheter
  • cost-effectiveness
  • educational intervention
  • economic-evaluation
  • matching Michigan
  • England
  • insertion
  • program
  • ICU


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