Background: Significant improvements in clinical outcome can be achieved by implementing effective strategies to optimise pain management, reduce sedative exposure, and prevent and treat delirium in ICU patients. One important strategy is the monitoring of pain, agitation and delirium (PAD bundle). We hypothesised that there is no sufficient financial benefit to implement a monitoring strategy in a Diagnosis Related Group (DRG)-based reimbursement system, therefore we expected better clinical and decreased economic outcome for monitored patients.
Methods: This is a retrospective observational study using routinely collected data. We used univariate and multiple linear analysis, machine-learning analysis and a novel correlation statistic (maximal information coefficient) to explore the association between monitoring adherence and resulting clinical and economic outcome. For univariate analysis we split patients in an adherence achieved and an adherence non-achieved group.
Results: In total 1,323 adult patients from two campuses of a German tertiary medical centre, who spent at least one day in the ICU between admission and discharge between 1. January 2016 and 31. December 2016. Adherence to PAD monitoring was associated with shorter hospital LoS (e.g. pain monitoring 13 vs. 10 days; p<0.001), ICU LoS, duration of mechanical ventilation shown by univariate analysis. Despite the improved clinical outcome, adherence to PAD elements was associated with a decreased case mix per day and profit per day shown by univariate analysis. Multiple linear analysis did not confirm these results. PAD monitoring is important for clinical as well as economic outcome and predicted case mix better than severity of illness shown by machine learning analysis.
Conclusion: Adherence to PAD bundles is also important for clinical as well as economic outcome. It is associated with improved clinical and worse economic outcome in comparison to non-adherence in univariate analysis but not confirmed by multiple linear analysis.
Trial registration: clinicaltrials.gov NCT02265263, Registered 15 October 2014.