Introduction: Implantable loop recorders (ILR) are predominantly implanted by cardiologists in the catheter laboratory. We developed a nurse-delivered service for the implantation of LINQ (Medtronic; Minnesota) ILRs in the outpatient setting. This study compared the safety and cost-effectiveness of the introduction of this nurse-delivered ILR service with contemporaneous physician-led procedures.
Methods: Consecutive patients undergoing an ILR at our institution between 1st July 2016 and 4th June 2018 were included. Data were prospectively entered into a computerized database, which was retrospectively analyzed.
Results: A total of 475 patients underwent ILR implantation, 271 (57%) of these were implanted by physicians in the catheter laboratory and 204 (43%) by nurses in the outpatient setting. Six complications occurred in physician-implants and two in nurse-implants (P = .3). Procedural time for physician-implants (13.4 ± 8.0 minutes) and nurse-implants (14.2 ± 10.1 minutes) were comparable (P = .98). The procedural cost was estimated as £576.02 for physician-implants against £279.95 with nurse-implants, equating to a 57.3% cost reduction. In our center, the total cost of ILR implantation in the catheter laboratory by physicians was £10 513.13 p.a. vs £6661.55 p.a. with a nurse-delivered model. When overheads for running, cleaning, and maintaining were accounted for, we estimated a saving of £68 685.75 was performed by moving to a nurse-delivered model for ILR implants. Over 133 catheter laboratory and implanting physician hours were saved and utilized for other more complex procedures.
Conclusion: ILR implantation in the outpatient setting by suitably trained nurses is safe and leads to significant financial savings.
Keywords: arrhythmias; implantable loop recorder; syncope.
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