Capnographic monitoring increases costs, not quality or patient satisfaction

Capnography is frequently used during intensive care or surgical procedures to track a patient's carbon dioxide levels and identify hypoventilation prior to hypoxemia. That said, a new study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology suggests it may be more costly than effective.

The authors of the study examined adverse events and patient satisfaction before and after the introduction of capnographic monitoring in 966 outpatient procedures — in this case, colonoscopies.

They found patients and nurses reported higher levels of procedural discomfort after adopting capnography and similar incidence of minor sedation-related adverse events compared to the non-capnographic monitoring group.

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Not only did capnography fail to improve quality and patient satisfaction in the colonoscopy patients, it cost more. Using capnography during routine colonoscopy procedures added $11.68 per case, or $40,169.95 for the entire unit studied.

"These data suggest that routine capnography in this setting may not be cost effective and that [capnographic monitoring] might be reserved for patients at higher risk of adverse events," concluded the study.

 

 

More articles on adverse events:
ICYMI: 10 recent studies, stories and tools on patient safety
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Three interventions proven to reduce adverse drug events

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