An evaluation of the Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) Demonstration

3.7 Desktop research - cost analysis

Page last updated: August 2008

CR&C reviewed financial data for the PAD Demonstration that was current for the 2006 and 2007 calendar years. Estimates of the efficiency of the Program were made based on reported program and administrative costs, and unit costs were calculated based on the number of lives saved, the number of activations and the number of host organisations. In summary:

  • The total funded amount for the program was $869,563 (excluding GST) for the 2006 to 2008 period. This total funding allocation includes an additional budget allowance of $200,000 in 2007. In 2007, $589,425 (48%) of this allocation had been expended.

  • The PAD Demonstration appears to be operating efficiently. Overall, 14% of expenditure was allocated to program administration. The remaining 86% was allocated to program costs. This allocation of program/ administration costs is within an acceptable range.

    Program costs included the purchase and installation of AEDs, provision of training and the production of posters. Administrative costs included travel and expenses for management meetings and costs associated with setting up a home office. One assumption was made in this analysis: 20% of all salary costs were assumed to be administrative costs and the remaining 80% assumed to be program-related.

  • The PAD Demonstration has achieved a number of tangible outputs and outcomes, most notably the recruitment of nearly 100 sites, the installation of nearly 150 AEDs and ultimately the saving of seven lives. Based on expended costs to December 2007, unit costs associated with these outcomes include:
    • Cost per site: $6,015 (98 sites)
    • Cost per AED: $4,010 (147 units, with multiple units installed at some sites)
    • Cost per activation: $29,471 (20 activations) and
    • Cost per life saved: $84,204 (seven lives saved, not all activations result in a saved life).
It can be reasonably assumed that these unit costs will decrease as single AEDs are used multiple times at their respective sites.

These calculations are based on data obtained from the PAD Demonstration project. The unit costs were estimated by dividing the total number of sites, AEDs, activations and lives saved by the total expenditure of the project to date. The program and administrative costs were calculated by dividing program costs (AEDs, training etc) and administrative costs (salaries, on-costs etc) by the total expenditure of the project to date.

These calculations may provide a rough estimate of expected costs should the program be expanded to incorporate a greater number of sites/AEDs, and the cost of the ultimate intended outcome of the program: successful resuscitations of people suffering cardiac arrest in public places.

Comparative data for alternative means of resuscitation (e.g., emergency response services) were not available for this evaluation. The Department may wish to consider such a comparative analysis for future research and evaluation.