The cost effectiveness of a quality improvement program to reduce maternal and fetal mortality in a regional referral hospital in Accra, Ghana.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a quality improvement intervention aimed at reducing maternal and fetal mortality in Accra, Ghana. DESIGN: Quasi-experimental, time-sequence intervention, retrospective cost-effectiveness analysis. METHODS: Data were collected on the cost and outcomes of a 5-year Kybele-Ghana Health Service Quality Improvement (QI) intervention conducted at Ridge Regional Hospital, a tertiary referral center in Accra, Ghana, focused on systems, personnel, and communication. Maternal deaths prevented were estimated comparing observed rates with counterfactual projections of maternal mortality and case-fatality rates for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and obstetric hemorrhage. Stillbirths prevented were estimated based on counterfactual estimates of stillbirth rates. Cost-effectiveness was then calculated using estimated disability-adjusted life years averted and subjected to Monte Carlo and one-way sensitivity analyses to test the importance of assumptions inherent in the calculations. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Incremental Cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER), which represents the cost per disability-adjusted life-year (DALY) averted by the intervention compared to a model counterfactual. RESULTS: From 2007-2011, 39,234 deliveries were affected by the QI intervention implemented at Ridge Regional Hospital. The total budget for the program was $2,363,100. Based on program estimates, 236 (±5) maternal deaths and 129 (±13) intrapartum stillbirths were averted (14,876 DALYs), implying an ICER of $158 ($129-$195) USD. This value is well below the highly cost-effective threshold of $1268 USD. Sensitivity analysis considered DALY calculation methods, and yearly prevalence of risk factors and case fatality rates. In each of these analyses, the program remained highly cost-effective with an ICER ranging from $97-$218. CONCLUSION: QI interventions to reduce maternal and fetal mortality in low resource settings can be highly cost effective. Cost-effectiveness analysis is feasible and should regularly be conducted to encourage fiscal responsibility in the pursuit of improved maternal and child health.
Goodman, DM; Ramaswamy, R; Jeuland, M; Srofenyoh, EK; Engmann, CM; Olufolabi, AJ; Owen, MD
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