Objectives To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of an automated medication system (AMS) implemented in a Danish hospital setting. Methods An economic evaluation was performed alongside a controlled before-and-after effectiveness study with one control ward and one intervention ward. The primary outcome measure was the number of errors in the medication administration process observed prospectively before and after implementation. To determine the difference in proportion of errors after implementation of the AMS, logistic regression was applied with the presence of error(s) as the dependent variable. Time, group, and interaction between time and group were the independent variables. The cost analysis used the hospital perspective with a short-term incremental costing approach. The total 6-month costs with and without the AMS were calculated as well as the incremental costs. The number of avoided administration errors was related to the incremental costs to obtain the cost-effectiveness ratio expressed as the cost per avoided administration error. Results The AMS resulted in a statistically significant reduction in the proportion of errors in the intervention ward compared with the control ward. The cost analysis showed that the AMS increased the ward's 6-month cost by €16,843. The cost-effectiveness ratio was estimated at €2.01 per avoided administration error, €2.91 per avoided procedural error, and €19.38 per avoided clinical error. Conclusions The AMS was effective in reducing errors in the medication administration process at a higher overall cost. The cost-effectiveness analysis showed that the AMS was associated with affordable cost-effectiveness rates.
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© 2017 International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR)