Purpose: To evaluate the total cost of outpatient flexible cystoscopy associated with reusable device purchase, maintenance, and reprocessing, and to assess potential cost benefits of single-use flexible cystoscopes. Methods: Cost data regarding the purchasing, maintaining, and reprocessing of reusable flexible cystoscopes were collected using a micro-costing approach at a high-volume outpatient urology clinic. We estimated the costs to facilities with a range of annual procedure volumes (1000–3000) performed with a fleet of cystoscopes ranging from 10 to 25. We also compared the total cost per double-J ureteral stent removal procedure performed using single-use flexible cystoscopes versus reusable devices. Results: The cost associated with reusable flexible cystoscopes ranged from $105 to $224 per procedure depending on the annual procedure volume and cystoscopes available. As a practice became more efficient by increasing the ratio of procedures performed to cystoscopes in the fleet, the proportion of the total cost due to cystoscope reprocessing increased from 22 to 46%. For ureteral stent removal procedures, the total cost per procedure using reusable cystoscopes (range $165–$1469) was higher than that using single-use devices ($244–$420), unless the annual procedure volume was sufficiently high relative to the number of reusable cystoscopes in the fleet (≥ 350 for a practice with ten reusable cystoscopes, ≥ 700 for one with 20 devices). Conclusion: The cost of reprocessing reusable cystoscopes represents a large fraction of the total cost per procedure, especially for high-volume facilities. It may be economical to adopt single-use cystoscopes specifically for stent removal procedures, especially for lower-volume facilities.
- Cystoscope reprocessing
- Reusable flexible cystoscopes
- Single-use flexible cystoscopes
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