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Efficiency of Hospital Cholera Treatment in Ecuador

Pan American Journal of Public Health Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 77-87, 1999

11 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2012  

Germán G. Creamer

Stevens Institute of Technology

Ninfa León

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Mark Kenber

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Pablo Samaniego

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Gregory Buchholz

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: Feb 1999

Abstract

This study analyzed the efficiency of cholera treatment in three hospitals representative of the Ecuadorian public health system in order to provide hospital directors and administrators and health service policy-makers with information to plan responses to future epidemics and to reduce the costs of cholera treatment in general. For the study, total and excess cholera treatment costs were calculated using hospital files and statistics and an in-hospital surveillance system of the cholera cases. The type and quantity of each input used for each treatment were analyzed, as well as the number of days hospitalized, according to the severity of the illness. With this process, excess costs were determined in relation to a “treatment norm” that would have been appropriate for each patient.

The researchers found that 45% of the cholera treatment costs were excessive. The most important contributor was excess recurrent costs (90%), including extended hospital stays, disproportionate use of intravenous rehydration solutions, and unnecessary laboratory tests. Excess capital costs, from land, buildings, and hospital equipment, represented 10% of the total excess treatment costs. No significant relationship was found between treatment costs and the severity of the illness, nor between costs and a patient’s age. A patient’s sex appeared to be an important variable, with the cost of treating women being notably higher than for men. An inverse relationship was found between treatment costs and the complexity of the hospital. The researchers concluded there was an inefficient use of resources in the treatment of cholera in the three hospitals where the research was performed.

Keywords: Health Economics, Public Health, Cholera

JEL Classification: I11

Suggested Citation

Creamer, Germán G. and León, Ninfa and Kenber, Mark and Samaniego, Pablo and Buchholz, Gregory, Efficiency of Hospital Cholera Treatment in Ecuador (Feb 1999). Pan American Journal of Public Health Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 77-87, 1999. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2028680

Germán G. Creamer (Contact Author)

Stevens Institute of Technology ( email )

1 Castle Point on Hudson
Hoboken, NJ 07030
United States
2012168986 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.creamer-co.com

Ninfa León

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Mark Kenber

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Pablo Samaniego

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Gregory Buchholz

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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