Value proposition



Transcript of video:

"Qualiteam would like to present the value proposition for investing in the QualiBreath sternum and thorax support to decrease the costs of postoperative complications.

Even the best surgical teams, using the best techniques, cannot avoid that patients have various degrees of respiratory pain, sore ribs and muscles, and incisional pain after a sternotomy procedure. Pain that is often treated with opioids with well-known drawbacks.
Patients also have to deal with possible wound healing issues and functional limitations. Not to forget the psychological impact heart surgery can cause.
All complications that are costly for the health care providers.

The most devastating and costly complications are sternal infections, postoperative pain and pulmonary complications.

Scientific literature reveals that an average of 3.5% of sternotomy patients get a deep sternal wound infection during hospital stay.
This doubles to more than 7% at 90 days follow up. Pulmonary complications and chronic pain have a higher incidence which may make them even more costly for the health care system than deep sternal wound infections.
It is also reported that more than half of the sternal wound infections are diagnosed after discharge.

Women and obese patients are at high risk of infections. The rates are proportional to the degree of breast size and obesity.
Other patient groups with high risk for complications are diabetics, older patients, osteoporotic, COPD - to mention some.
A deep sternal wound infection triples the cost of the procedure to 60.000 US$ on average, and prolongs the hospital stay for up to three weeks.

Today, the status of sternotomy procedures is that the complication rates have not decreased over the last decade, and cardiac patients have a readmission rate of 16% within 30 days of surgery. This is the highest readmission rate of all patient groups.

Why have complications after sternotomy procedures remained steady, and why do cardiac patients have the highest readmission rates?
The answer may be found in the recovery period while the sternum bone is healing.
Patients are often discharged early to save money, which shifts the responsibility for recovery and wound care to the patient, family members, or to rehabilitation clinics.

How well prepared are they for taking this responsibility? Are the efforts to save money by early discharge being offset during recovery?
There is no common consensus on guidelines for sternum protection and precautions to patients after sternotomy procedures. Hospitals often make their own guidelines, which may vary from one hospital to another. In addition, when patients are discharged, there is limited control, if any, whether they follow the guidelines.
Furthermore, patients are not routinely provided with dedicated, purpose-designed preventive devices to protect the sternum at home while the sternum heals.

The QualiBreath sternum and thorax support is designed to ease the patient’s condition and decrease potential complications after a sternotomy procedure.
It stabilizes the sternum by giving an efficient and constant lateral support which may decrease the risk of deep sternal wound infection and dehiscence.
The patient can control pain by bringing the integrated handles side by side to increase the encircling support around the chest to counteract peak internal thoracic pressures when coughing, sneezing or straining. This may help decreasing the need for opioids.
A patient’s posture is usually improved by the firm, elastic band around the chest. This relieves pain from sore ribs and muscles, and stimulates movement with more ease which may help to prevent circulatory complications.
The comfortable chest support improves a patients peace of mind. They get a feeling of being held together and sleep with more comfort knowing they are protected 24 hours a day.
The design is specifically made to keep the lower lung lobes and upper abdomen free to stimulate deeper breathing and help clearance of secretions from the lungs, which may decrease potential lung infections.
The comfort of the ventilated, light, latex-free material helps to make patients conform with usage at home until the sternum is healed.
These 6 key benefits put the QualiBreath sternum and thorax support in a good position to help decrease postoperative complications and readmission rates.

Scientific publications show that the incidence of deep sternal wound infections ranges from 0.8% to 6% and the average is 3.5%.
The average costs of a deep sternal wound infection is $60.000 while procedures without complications cost about $20.000.
Using this data in an example with a hospital performing 300 sternotomy procedures a year, reveals that an average of 11 patients per year would get a deep sternal wound infection.
The additional costs for this hospital would be on average $660.000.
These calculations do not take into account the additional costs for pain medication or treatment of pulmonary infections.

Peer-reviewed scientific literature reports that the use of external chest supports can reduce the incidence of deep sternal wound infections by a factor of 6, - from 3.5% to 0.6%.
If the hospital performing the 300 annual sternotomy cases should decide to use the QualiBreath sternum and thorax support, they might have just 2 patients a year with deep sternal wound infections instead of 11.
The additional costs of this complication for the hospital could be reduced to just 120.000 US$ instead of $660.000.
This difference shows how the return on investment for this 300 case hospital on using QualiBreath may be as high as $510.000.
This includes the cost of 300 units of QualiBreath which is less than the cost of a single Deep Sternal Wound Infection.
This calculation does not take into account the additional savings in decreased infection rates after discharge from the hospital, decrease in medication for pain and related ailments, or the costs of treatment of pulmonary complications.

The QualiBreath sternum and thorax support has the potential to reduce complications and save a significant amount of money for health care providers.
Invest in the wellbeing of patients, advance their recovery, and save costs at the same time.