Cost-efficiency assessment of Advanced Life Support (ALS) courses based on the comparison of advanced simulators with conventional manikins

BMC Emerg Med. 2007 Oct 22;7:18. doi: 10.1186/1471-227X-7-18.


Background: Simulation is an essential tool in modern medical education. The object of this study was to assess, in cost-effective measures, the introduction of new generation simulators in an adult life support (ALS) education program.

Methods: Two hundred fifty primary care physicians and nurses were admitted to ten ALS courses (25 students per course). Students were distributed at random in two groups (125 each). Group A candidates were trained and tested with standard ALS manikins and Group B ones with new generation emergency and life support integrated simulator systems.

Results: In group A, 98 (78%) candidates passed the course, compared with 110 (88%) in group B (p < 0.01). The total cost of conventional courses was euro 7689 per course and the cost of the advanced simulator courses was euro 29034 per course (p < 0.001). Cost per passed student was euro 392 in group A and euro 1320 in group B (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Although ALS advanced simulator systems may slightly increase the rate of students who pass the course, the cost-effectiveness of ALS courses with standard manikins is clearly superior.