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.
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.