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Economic Evaluation of an Interstitial Lung Disease Nurse

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic, progressive fibrosing interstitial lung disease (ILD) characterized by a decline in lung function with poor prognosis and high healthcare costs. It has been recommended that IPF be treated with antifibrotic therapies that have been shown to effectively reduce symptoms stemming from declines in lung function, thereby decreasing hospital admissions and emergency room visits (HA/ERs). However, patient compliance with these medications has been shown to be a limiting factor in their efficacy. To improve patient outcomes and reduce the costs of HA/ERs associated with medication noncompliance, expert panels have suggested that IPF patients be referred to clinics with a specialist ILD nurse on site. Although the implementation of a specialist nurse providing individually tailored support has been shown to improve clinical outcomes, no studies to date have investigated the impact of ILD nurses on healthcare utilization and costs.  

This study will perform an economic evaluation examining the impact of implementing an ILD Nurse Program (hiring ILD Nurses in ILD clinics) compared to the standard of care (not having an ILD Nurse) at the Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) and in the province of Ontario. Our objectives are to assess to impact of an ILD nurse on hospital admissions and emergency room (HA/ER) visits for IPF patients, and the associated healthcare utilization costs and savings at the hospital and provincial levels.

Image by National Cancer Institute
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