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Journal of Medical Economics




Aims: Point-of-care electroencephalogram (POC-EEG) is an acute care bedside screening tool for the identification of nonconvulsive seizures (NCS) and nonconvulsive status epilepticus (NCSE). The objective of this narrative review is to describe the economic themes related to POC-EEG in the United States (US).

Materials and methods: We examined peer-reviewed, published manuscripts on the economic findings of POC-EEG for bedside use in US hospitals, which included those found through targeted searches on PubMed and Google Scholar. Conference abstracts, gray literature offerings, frank advertisements, white papers, and studies conducted outside the US were excluded.

Results: Twelve manuscripts were identified and reviewed; results were then grouped into four categories of economic evidence. First, POC-EEG usage was associated with clinical management amendments and antiseizure medication reductions. Second, POC-EEG was correlated with fewer unnecessary transfers to other facilities for monitoring and reduced hospital length of stay (LOS). Third, when identifying NCS or NCSE onsite, POC-EEG was associated with greater reimbursement in Medical Severity-Diagnosis Related Group coding. Fourth, POC-EEG may lower labor costs via decreasing after-hours requests to EEG technologists for conventional EEG (convEEG).

Limitations: We conducted a narrative review, not a systematic review. The studies were observational and utilized one rapid circumferential headband system, which limited generalizability of the findings and indicated publication bias. Some sample sizes were small and hospital characteristics may not represent all US hospitals. POC-EEG studies in pediatric populations were also lacking. Ultimately, further research is justified.

Conclusions: POC-EEG is a rapid screening tool for NCS and NCSE in critical care and emergency medicine with potential financial benefits through refining clinical management, reducing unnecessary patient transfers and hospital LOS, improving reimbursement, and mitigating burdens on healthcare staff and hospitals. Since POC-EEG has limitations (i.e. no video component and reduced montage), the studies asserted that it did not replace convEEG.


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