Cost-effectiveness of pre-operative Staphylococcus aureus screening and decolonization

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective We developed a decision analytic model to evaluate the impact of a preoperative Staphylococcus aureus decolonization bundle on surgical site infections (SSIs), health-care-associated costs (HCACs), and deaths due to SSI.Methods Our model population comprised US adults undergoing elective surgery. We evaluated 3 self-administered preoperative strategies: (1) the standard of care (SOC) consisting of 2 disinfectant soap showers; (2) the test-and-treat strategy consisting of the decolonization bundle including chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) soap, CHG mouth rinse, and mupirocin nasal ointment for 5 days) if S. aureus was found at any of 4 screened sites (nasal, throat, axillary, perianal area), otherwise the SOC; and (3) the treat-all strategy consisting of the decolonization bundle for all patients, without S. aureus screening. Model parameters were derived primarily from a randomized controlled trial that measured the efficacy of the decolonization bundle for eradicating S. aureus.Results Under base-case assumptions, the treat-all strategy yielded the fewest SSIs and the lowest HCACs, followed by the test-and-treat strategy. In contrast, the SOC yielded the most SSIs and the highest HCACs. Consequently, relative to the SOC, the average savings per operation was $217 for the treat-all strategy and $123 for the test-and-treat strategy, and the average savings per per SSI prevented was $21,929 for the treat-all strategy and $15,166 for the test-and-treat strategy. All strategies were sensitive to the probability of acquiring an SSI and the increased risk if SSI if the patient was colonized with SA.Conclusion We predict that the treat-all strategy would be the most effective and cost-saving strategy for preventing SSIs. However, because this strategy might select more extensively for mupirocin-resistant S. aureus and cause more medication adverse effects than the test-and-treat approach or the SOC, additional studies are needed to define its comparative benefits and harms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1340-1346
Number of pages7
JournalInfection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. All rights reserved.


Dive into the research topics of 'Cost-effectiveness of pre-operative Staphylococcus aureus screening and decolonization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this