Costs and cost analysis Emergency service Hospital Cost allocation Process assessment
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Fuentes-Cáceres, V. (Verónica); Neriz, L. (Liliana); Núñez-Mondaca, A. (Alicia); et al. "Cost objects: How is your ED performing?". Springer Nature. 20 (550), 2020,
Background: The aim of this study is to a propose a standardized methodology to identify a list of cost objects
that can be used by any ED to compute costs considering that the resulting data must facilitate unit management
by improving the information available for decision-making.
Methods: This study considers two stages, first, we analyzed the case-mix of two hospitals collecting their data to
define and diagram their processes, activities and to obtain their cost objects, second, we used four additional
hospitals to validate our initial findings.
Results: We recognized 59 cost objects. Hospitals may have all these cost objects or just a subset of them
depending on the services they provide.
Conclusions: Among the main benefits of our cost objects definition are: the possibility of tracing the processes
generated by the services delivered by EDs, the economic sense in its grouping, the chance of using any costing
methodology, the flexibility with other classification systems such as DRGs and ICDs, and the opportunity of costing
for both diseases and treatments. Furthermore, cost comparison among hospitals using our final 59 cost objects list
is more accurate and based on comparable units. In different EDs, each cost object will be the result of a similar
combination of activities performed. We also present the results of applying this cost objects list to a particular ED.
A total of 53 out of 59 cost objects were identified for that particular unit within a calendar year.