A cost-consequences analysis of a primary care librarian question and answering service

Title: A cost-consequences analysis of a primary care librarian question and answering service
Authors: McGowan, Jessie
Hogg, William
Zhong, Jianwei
Zhao, Xue
Date: 2012-06-28
Abstract: Background - Cost consequences analysis was completed from randomized controlled trial (RCT) data for the Just-in-time (JIT) librarian consultation service in primary care that ran from October 2005 to April 2006. The service was aimed at providing answers to clinical questions arising during the clinical encounter while the patient waits. Cost saving and cost avoidance were also analyzed. The data comes from eighty-eight primary care providers in the Ottawa area working in Family Health Networks (FHNs) and Family Health Groups (FHGs). // Methods - We conducted a cost consequences analysis based on data from the JIT project. We also estimated the potential economic benefit of JIT librarian consultation service to the health care system. // Results - The results show that the cost per question for the JIT service was $38.20. The cost could be as low as $5.70 per question for a regular service. Nationally, if this service was implemented and if family physicians saw additional patients when the JIT service saved them time, up to 61,100 extra patients could be seen annually. A conservative estimate of the cost savings and cost avoidance per question for JIT was $11.55. // Conclusions - The cost per question, if the librarian service was used at full capacity, is quite low. Financial savings to the health care system might exceed the cost of the service. Saving physician's time during their day could potentially lead to better access to family physicians by patients. Implementing a librarian consultation service can happen quickly as the time required to train professional librarians to do this service is short.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/22929
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0033837
CollectionM├ędecine familiale // Family Medicine