Medical College of Wisconsin
CTSICores SearchResearch InformaticsREDCap

An economic model: value of antimicrobial-coated sutures to society, hospitals, and third-party payers in preventing abdominal surgical site infections. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014 Aug;35(8):1013-20



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-84904395866   19 Citations


BACKGROUND: While the persistence of high surgical site infection (SSI) rates has prompted the advent of more expensive sutures that are coated with antimicrobial agents to prevent SSIs, the economic value of such sutures has yet to be determined.

METHODS: Using TreeAge Pro, we developed a decision analytic model to determine the cost-effectiveness of using antimicrobial sutures in abdominal incisions from the hospital, third-party payer, and societal perspectives. Sensitivity analyses systematically varied the risk of developing an SSI (range, 5%-20%), the cost of triclosan-coated sutures (range, $5-$25/inch), and triclosan-coated suture efficacy in preventing infection (range, 5%-50%) to highlight the range of costs associated with using such sutures.

RESULTS: Triclosan-coated sutures saved $4,109-$13,975 (hospital perspective), $4,133-$14,297 (third-party payer perspective), and $40,127-$53,244 (societal perspective) per SSI prevented, when a surgery had a 15% SSI risk, depending on their efficacy. If the SSI risk was no more than 5% and the efficacy in preventing SSIs was no more than 10%, triclosan-coated sutures resulted in extra expenditure for hospitals and third-party payers (resulting in extra costs of $1,626 and $1,071 per SSI prevented for hospitals and third-party payers, respectively; SSI risk, 5%; efficacy, 10%).

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that switching to triclosan-coated sutures from the uncoated sutures can both prevent SSIs and save substantial costs for hospitals, third-party payers, and society, as long as efficacy in preventing SSIs is at least 10% and SSI risk is at least 10%.

Author List

Singh A, Bartsch SM, Muder RR, Lee BY


Ashima Singh PhD Assistant Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Aged, 80 and over
Anti-Infective Agents, Local
Child, Preschool
Cost Savings
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Drug Costs
Economics, Hospital
Insurance, Health, Reimbursement
Middle Aged
Models, Economic
Risk Factors
Surgical Wound Infection
Young Adult