Evaluating the costs, benefits and cost-effectiveness of multi-pathogen point-of-care tests for sexually transmitted infections

We estimated costs, benefits and cost-effectiveness of three accurate 30-minute NAAT POCT strategies that detect different STI combinations, compared with standard care  (laboratory-based NAAT for Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG)).  We found the CT-NG-MG-TV POCT strategy was the cheapest using tariff costing. It offered the most benefits, which in turn may have wider public health impacts through rapid and accurate STI diagnosis and management. Different testing strategies may be more cost-effective in different SHCs and patient groups. Further evidence is needed to capture the diversity of STI prevalence and management of patients across clinical services to better inform economic analyses.

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Harding-Esch EM, Huntington SE, Burns RM, et al. Evaluating the costs, benefits and cost-effectiveness of multi-pathogen point-of-care tests for sexually transmitted infections STI & HIV World Congress. 9-12 July 2017. Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

 

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Modelling how point-of-care tests can enable personalised treatment for resistant gonorrhoea infections

We created a mathematical model to investigate the treatment impact and economic implications of introducing an antimicrobial resistance point-of-care test (AMR POCT) for gonorrhoea as a way of extending the life of current last-line treatments. The introduction of AMR POCT could allow clinicians to discern between the majority of gonorrhoea-positive patients with strains that could be treated with older, previously abandoned first-line treatments, and those requiring our current last-line dual therapy. Such tests could extend the useful life of dual ceftriaxone and azithromycin therapy, thus pushing back the time when gonorrhoea may become untreatable.

Publication

Turner KM, Christensen H, Adams EJ, et al Analysis of the potential for point-of-care test to enable individualised treatment of infections caused by antimicrobial-resistant and susceptible strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae: a modelling study

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Point-of-care tests for infectious diseases: Barriers to implementation across three London teaching hospitals

Our paper explores results of the acceptability and implementation issues of point of care tests (POCTs) in paediatric patients in three south London hospitals. Overall, we found that having a test result was thought to improve bed management and cohorting sick patients appropriately, reassure parents about their child’s condition, reduce hospital transmission, and rationalise further tests and treatment. Concerns focused on confidence about the test’s performance – particularly around false negatives not receiving proper management, how to manage discrepant results (i.e. the laboratory assay gave a different answer to the POCT), and training enough staff to run the test at the point of care.

Publication

Bustinduy AL, Jeyaratnam D, Adams EJ, et al. CLAHRC South London; Paediatric Infection Network. Point-of-care tests for infectious diseases: Barriers to implementation across three London teaching hospitals. Acta Paediatrica,  April 2017. DOI: 10.1111/apa.13867

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Estimating the clinical impact and costs of implementing a point of care test for influenza A/B and respiratory syncytial virus on an acute paediatric hospital inpatient ward

We explored the impact of introducing a high performance point of care test (POCT) for influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) on an acute paediatric ward of a large London hospital during influenza season compared to standard care of using a laboratory-based test. We estimated the outcomes before and after implementing a POCT (Enigma® MiniLab™ FluAB-RSV test) for paediatric patients admitted to an acute respiratory ward in the 2013/14 and 2014/15 respiratory seasons. There was a significant reduction in reimbursement charges for influenza- and RSV-negative patients, for the full hospital stay and the period on the acute paediatric ward after implementing the POCT, however, these differences disappeared when controlling for top-up service charges. More appropriate treatment of patients with influenza occurred after implementing the POCT (40% versus 13% received oseltamivir, p=0.02). There was no difference in length of stay between the two periods. Findings indicate cost savings for commissioners and hospitals, even without a reduction in the length of stay.

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Vecino-Ortiz AI, Glover RE, Douthwaite ST, et al.
Estimating the clinical impact and costs of implementing a point of care test for influenza A/B and respiratory syncytial virus on an acute paediatric hospital inpatient ward. Society for Medical Decision Making. 12-14 June 2016. London, UK.

 

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A rapid influenza test in hospitals could avoid unnecessary paediatric isolation bed days and save costs

We created a decision tree to estimate the unnecessary isolation days averted by early diagnosis of false positive patients with a point of care test for influenza compared to presumptive isolation and standard laboratory testing (12 versus 2 hours’ time to results). Assuming a 7% prevalence of influenza in a cohort of 300 patients with suspected influenza, average hospital stay of 3 days, and the cost of an isolation bed being 10% more than a ward bed, using a point of care test could avert 80-95% of the unnecessary isolation days, with an associated estimated cost savings of roughly £7000-£9000, depending on if they test were implemented on the ward or in A&E, respectively. Point of care tests could improve bed management and reduce unnecessary isolation days and the associated costs, and reduce hospital transmission of infection.

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Vecino-Ortiz AI, Glover RE, Rabe AJ, et al. A rapid influenza test in hospitals could avoid unnecessary paediatric isolation bed days and save cost. Society for Medical Decision Making. 12-14 June 2016. London, UK.

 

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Performance of a novel point-of-care molecular assay for the detection of Influenza A, B and RSV in children

We assessed the performance of the new point-of-care Enigma® MiniLab™ assay for Influenza A, B and RSV compared to a centralised laboratory respiratory virus panel. The positive per cent agreement was >95% for Influenza B and RSV but was 79.2% (95% CI 57.8-92.9%) for Influenza A, and the negative per cent agreement was >95% for Influenza A and B, and 94.5% (95% CI 91.9-96.4%) for RSV. The turnaround time for the laboratory respiratory virus panel was 24 hours, compared to ~90 minutes for the Enigma® MiniLab™ test.

Publication
Douthwaite ST, Walker C, Adams EJ, et al.
Performance of a novel point-of-care molecular assay for the detection of Influenza A, B and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (Enigma® MiniLab™) in children with acute respiratory infection. JCM, online first 11 Nov 2015. doi: 10.1128/JCM.02887-15

 

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Mapping the diagnostic pathway for breast cancer in England and comparison to Europe

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in England and the second most common cause of cancer death. We mapped the breast cancer diagnostic pathway in England and rest of Europe and estimated the number of women transitioning through each step of the pathway, and the number of symptomatic women. We propose a new metric to discuss breast cancer screening, annual effective screening rate, to allow for comparison of the effectiveness of different breast cancer interventions across Europe.

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Adams EJ, Midha D, Glover R,  et al.
Mapping the diagnostic pathway for breast cancer in England and comparison to Europe ISPOR 18th Annual European Congress. 7-11 November 2015. Milan, Italy.

 

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Cervical screening and HPV testing: Opportunities for rapid tests

Problem:  Our client Cepheid has developed a rapid HPV PCR test that can be used as a point-of-care test (POCT). They wanted to understand where in the cervical cancer screening and treatment pathway the test would be most beneficial to patients and the healthcare system. This comes during a time of uncertainty about how best to screen women, and how to organise laboratory services around screening. It is also unclear how screening may differ across Europe and the burden of cervical disease.

 Approach:  We conducted a literature review of the evidence about the current national cervical screening programme in the UK. Then, we conducted 25 semi-structured interviews with key opinion leaders across the UK to gain additional insight about the pathway and the opportunities for using a POCT in the screening pathway. Results also contributed to a European tool to understand cervical cancer diagnosis and burden.

 Impact:  We have presented our findings at international conferences (EUROGIN 2015, IPC 2015), and results have helped our client as they communicate the opportunities and value of a POCT for HPV to their stakeholders and customers. We have engaged with the international community on the requirements for the creation of a standardised international cervical cancer data repository, to inform better evidence-based decision making.

 

Testimonial

“While perfectly responding to the originally given mission, the Aquarius team painted a comprehensive picture of how healthcare is really delivered currently in Europe. This opened up our minds to new ways of improving patient care. The Aquarius team under Elisabeth’s leadership is highly professional, very creative and great fun to work with, without ever taking short cuts. I cannot imagine better results for us.”

  • Dr Anne Postulka, Senior Director Medical & Economic Value, Cepheid

 

Related publications

presentation_iconAdams EJ, Glover R, Vecino A, Postulka A. Exploring the value of a rapid, on-demand test for the detection of human papillomavirus. 30th International Papillomavirus Conference. Lisbon, Portugal. September 17 -21, 2015.

 

presentation_iconAdams EJ, Glover R, Vecino A, Postulka A. How can European countries improve cervical cancer prevention for women? 30th International Papillomavirus Conference. Lisbon, Portugal. September 17 -21, 2015.

The cost of pelvic inflammatory disease and potential cost-savings of chlamydia screening

Problem: The POPI trial was a randomised control trial in South London estimating the incidence of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and the potential impact of screening for chlamydial infection on preventing PID. The study group wanted to know the costs to the health care system of managing PID, and what cost savings could be made through chlamydia screening.

Approach: We worked with the study team to define the question based on the data they had already collected during the trial, and then developed a strategy to answer it. This involved extracting data from patient notes and building a simple model in Excel to estimate the costs of care for women with PID. National costs were applied to local data, and we scaled up the results to estimate the potential cost savings, both locally and nationally.

 Impact: This work provided estimates of the cost of managing PID, which are useful to groups exploring the impact of delivering care to these patients and also for those wishing to explore the impact of interventions to avoid PID such as chlamydia screening. The results were published in Sexually Transmitted Infections, and has been cited many times in prestigious journals and authoritative reports and used in two modelling studies.

 

Testimonial

“Dr Adams is an excellent health economist, very clear thinking and easy to work with. She has original ideas and delivers on time. She designed the cost analysis for our trial, supervised the research assistant who assembled the relevant data and enabled publication in a high ranking journal.”

  • Dr Pippa Oakeshott, Professor of General Medicine, St Georges University

 

Related publications

publication_iconAghaizu A, Adams EJ, Turner KME, et al. What is the cost of pelvic inflammatory disease and how much could be prevented by screening for Chlamydia trachomatis? Cost analysis of the POPI (prevention of pelvic infection) trial. Sex Transm Infect 2011; 87:312-317.

Thinking critically about the value and cost of drugs: managing patients with invasive fungal disease

We developed a framework to help clinicians and decision-makers think systematically about how to compare patient management options whilst considering the full costs to the healthcare provider, and a toolkit based on this framework for patients with invasive fungal infection in England. Adopting this framework can help healthcare providers move towards a more holistic understanding of drug treatment and management costs that may help the NHS save money, freeing up resources for better health care.

presentation_iconAdams EJ, Kendall E, Horner J, et al. Thinking critically about the value and cost of drugs: managing patients with invasive fungal disease. ECCMID 2015. 25 – 28 April 2015. Copenhagen, Denmark.

 

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