An evaluation of patient outcomes and cost-benefits associated with a home intravenous therapy program




Venter, Susan

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Home intravenous (IV) programs are a growing community health sector due to the fact that it is safe, cost-effective and allows earlier patient discharge to home. Home IV programs provide nursing support to allow clients to receive antibiotic treatment in their homes rather than remaining in the hospital and provide ongoing education to patients/caregivers on safely administering IV antibiotics. In 2001, the Fraser Health Surrey district launched a home IV program with approximately 3-4 registered patients. By 2012 the program had approximately 505 enrolled patients and had not yet been evaluated. This project evaluated the outcomes and cost benefits of the Surrey Home IV therapy program. The methods involved a retrospective chart review 168 clients enrolled in the home IV therapy program in Surrey from January 2012-December 2012. Research questions included: 1) Do socio-demographic and health factors affect the outcomes of home IV therapy, and 2) Is home IV therapy more cost-effective than a hospital stay? Findings show that: 1) socio-demographic factors (age, gender, caregiver support) were not significantly associated with readmission rates or complications; 2) the majority of patients had a spousal caregiver which facilitated a quicker acceptance into the home IV program by allowing teaching to be initiated sooner; 3) duration on the home IV program was significantly longer if the patient had a longer length of hospital stay; 4) the number of co-morbidities were not associated with readmission rates, complications or length of duration on home IV program; 5) diagnosis was not significantly associated with complications or readmission to hospital; 6) type or cause of infection was not associated with the duration of IV antibiotics; and 7) open wounds required an average of 6 weeks of I.V. therapy while systemic infections required 4-6 weeks of I.V. therapy. A comparison of costs for a 40 day hospital stay versus a 40 day home IV program estimated savings at $8,147,160 which suggests that home IV therapy is cost-effective with substantial savings for the health authority. In conclusion, Surrey Home IV therapy has been shown to be safe and more cost effective than a hospital stay. This study will hopefully provide support for continuing support of Home IV therapy programs and direct patient self-care models which in effect will reduce costs to Health Authorities.



home IV therapy, home IV administration, cost savings