Application of cost/benefit analysis for surgical gown and drape selection: a case study

Am J Infect Control. 2009 Apr;37(3):215-26. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2008.10.031. Epub 2009 Feb 12.


Background: The selection of medical textiles is an important subject for the health care sector in terms of benefits and costs. The basic cost calculation does not always yield to proper results in product selection; it would even mislead. It is usually a complicated task to give a decision whether to use reusable or single-use products, especially when the patient and surgeons lives are in consideration. The objective of the present paper is to carry out a cost/benefit study to help hospital managers and surgical team in comparing reusable and single-use surgical gowns and drapes.

Methods: A detailed case study was carried out to determine the net benefits and costs associated with reusable and single-use surgical gown and drape use in the University of Gaziantep Hospital. The Analytic hierarchy process (AHP) is used to evaluate qualitative benefit data. The relevant data were determined through the literature research and interviews with the doctors, administrators, and personnel of related departments (such as infection control, cleaning, and others) in the hospital. The benefit/cost ratios of the alternatives have been examined, and a sensitivity analysis has been carried out to measure the impact of changes in costs and benefits.

Conclusion: After the study, it is concluded that, even though cost is relatively higher, single-use gown and drape sets provide the highest benefit rates. Reduction of prices of single-use sets will make them more competitive and attractive in the health care sector.

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Disposable Equipment / economics
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / economics*
  • Surgical Equipment / economics*
  • Textiles / economics*