DIMACS Computational and Mathematical Epidemiology Seminar Series

Title: The influence of economic incentives on hospital infection control: an application of economic-epidemiology

Speaker: Ramanan Laxminarayan, Resources for the Future

Date: December 12, 2005, 12:00 - 1:30pm

Location: DIMACS Center, CoRE Bldg, Room 431, Rutgers University, Busch Campus, Piscataway, NJ


Conceptual mathematical models that couple the economic incentives and population biology of hospital infection control (HIC) can be useful in explaining the high prevalence of drug resistance in hospitals that operate in the vicinity of many other health care facilities. For instance, we can show that the optimal investment by a hospital for HIC changes with the proportion of patients already colonized with antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB) at the time of admission. As that proportion increases (as a consequence of patient-sharing with neighboring facilities), the optimal behavior of a hospital is to increase spending to control ARB with low transmissibility and decrease spending on those with high transmissibility. Mathematical models that capture the complex interplay between economics, human behavior, and disease ecology may be more helpful in understanding how diseases evolve and spread than models that rely on epidemiology alone.

Seminar web page: http://dimacs.rutgers.edu/SpecialYears/2002_Epid/seminars05-06.html