Cost awareness among anesthesia practitioners at one institution

David B. Wax, Jason Schaecter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Study Objective: To characterize the accuracy of clinician knowledge of anesthesia drug and equipment costs at one institution. Design: Anonymous survey instrument. Setting: Large academic medical center. Measurements: 130 questionnaires were sent to departmental practitioners, including residents, CRNAs, and attendings. An updated list of acquisition costs for commonly used drugs and equipment is posted on our departmental website and is sent to all clinical staff by electronic mail annually. For each item, the respondent was given a choice of price ranges and indicated the range in which they believed the actual cost of the item to be. Accuracy was calculated as the difference between the identifier of the correct and chosen ranges. The mean and variance of these differences were then calculated for each item within each practitioner group and tested to identify statistically significant differences among practitioner groups. Main Results: A total of 103 (79%) completed questionnaires were received. Many practitioners overestimated or underestimated the actual costs of most of the items. There was no significant difference between the groups for the mean accuracy across the entire set of items. For variance in price estimation, there was a statistically significant greater variance only for CA1 residents compared with attendings, CRNAs, and CA3 residents. Conclusions: Many experienced practitioners in an academic setting lack accurate knowledge of the acquisition costs of common drugs and supplies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-550
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Anesthesia
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • Anesthesia
  • Cost
  • Economics
  • Education


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