Abstract

Background: Improvement of health care quality and cost control are the main aims of the health care reform in Romania. Objective: The aims of the research are to analyse the trend of costs for imaging techniques used as diagnostic tools for cerebral and abdominal neonatal pathology and to study the relationship between cost and diagnostic benefits. Design: This is a retrospective observational study design without a control group, conducted in the Radio-Imaging Department, Cluj District University Hospital, Romania, from October 2000 to February 2006. Patients: The study population was represented by neonates investigated in the Radio-Imaging Department, Cluj District University Hospital. Intervention: Five imaging diagnostic techniques used in the diagnosis of cerebral and abdominal neonatal pathology were investigated. Measurements: The costs of the investigated techniques were calculated. The concordance between clinical and imaging diagnostic was recorded. Results: Magnetic resonance proved to be the most expensive investigation. The rate between the raising of costs on investigation type on year was constant. The average cost of imaging investigations for patients with identified pathological aspects (€ 42.72) was not statistically significant (p > 0.05) compared with the average cost for patients with no pathologic imaging aspects (€ 37.62). The concordance between the clinical suspicion and the radio-imaging diagnosis was of 52.35%. Conclusions: The raise of radio-imaging investigation costs had a decreasing tendency over the years studied, decrease explained by the stabilization of the Romanian monetary market. The results on concordance analysis lead to the necessity of training of both clinicians and radiologists.

Keywords

Neonate, Imaging Investigation Costs, Radio-Imaging Pathological Findings, Clinical-Imaging Concordance.