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CPSI Share                                                  
7/8/2012 6:00 PM

​​​Adverse events create a significant economic burden on the Canadian healthcare system. In an effort to understand the true financial costs of preventable adverse events, extensive research has been conducted to examine the economics of patient safety in acute care. The Economics of Patient Safety in Acute Care report, released in July  2012, was funded by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and led by principle investigators Dr. Edward Etchells, Associate Director of the University of Toronto Centre for Patient Safety and Dr. Nicole Mittmann of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

An article recently published in the BMJ Quality and Safety Journal, entitled “Comparative Economic Analyses of Patient Safety Improvement Strategies: A Systematic Review”, set the stage for the release of the report, highlighting the results from the literature review of economic studies related to patient safety improvement strategies.  The full report provides more detail on the methods used in the study and explains the concepts associated with economics research.

The Economics of Patient Safety in Acute Care report includes:

  • Estimates of the total economic burden of patient safety in acute care in Canada in 2009/2010.
  • Preliminary estimates of the cost of safety issues, including the cost per case of:
      • Hospital-acquired infections (including nosocomial bloodstream infections);
      • Nosocomial falls;
      • Clostridium Difficile-associated Disease (CDAD);
      • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA infections);
      • Vanconmycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE); and
      • Surgical Site Infections (SSI).
  • Guidelines and a framework for performing or assessing economic research in patient safety.
  • Recommendations for future research in the economics of patient safety.

The report reinforces the need to continually evaluate the costs of adverse events to the entire healthcare and social system; however, more importantly it strongly advocates conducting methodologically sound research to determine the best interventions and strategies for improving patient safety.

For more information on the Economics of Patient Safety in Acute Care report, visit http://www.patientsafetyinstitute.ca/English/research/commissionedResearch/EconomicsofPatientSafety/Pages/default.aspx