Health costs and efficiencies of patient-specific and single-use instrumentation in total knee arthroplasty : a randomised controlled trial

Attard, Andre and Tawy, Gwenllian Fflur and Simons, Michiel and Riches, Philip and Rowe, Philip and Biant, Leela C (2019) Health costs and efficiencies of patient-specific and single-use instrumentation in total knee arthroplasty : a randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open Quality, 8 (2). e000493. ISSN 2399-6641

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    Abstract

    Aim To investigate whether patient-specific instrumentation (PSI) and single-use instrumentation (SUI) improve operating room efficiency in terms of time and cost to the healthcare provider over conventional/reusable instrumentation (CVR) when performing total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Patients and methods Patients requiring TKA were randomised into one of four surgical groups: CVR, CVS (conventional/SUI), PSR (PSI/reusable) and PSS (PSI/SUI). All surgical procedures were video recorded to determine specific surgical time intervals. Other variables reported included the number of instrument trays used, missing equipment, direct instrument costs and the weight of the instruments the staff had to handle. Oxford Knee Score (OKS), estimated blood loss and lengths of hospital stay were also recorded as markers of patient experience. Results PSR was significantly quicker in all the recorded time intervals, used less trays, experienced less missing equipment and resulted in lower blood loss and shorter hospital stays. SUI reported significantly slower operating room times and resulted in higher blood loss, but SUI was 88% lighter and 20% cheaper on average when compared with their reusable counterparts. Despite the economic advantages of PSI and SUI, the patients who reported greatest improvements in OKS were those allocated to the CVR group, but no clinically meaningful difference in OKS was found at any time point. Conclusions PSI and SUI for TKA have the potential of reducing operating room times over conventional, reusable sets. This reduction will benefit theatre personnel ergonomically, while presenting the healthcare provider with potential cost-saving benefits in terms of reduced sterilisation costs and surgical times.