How much do adverse events cost?
New research report estimates the cost of preventable patient safety incidents is $397 million.
The human burden associated with adverse patient safety events has been well established for years; however, until recently, it has been unclear how much adverse events impact the cost to the Canadian acute care system. Relatively little attention has been directed toward the economic impact of such events, and few studies have attempted to estimate the additional costs of adverse events in hospital care. In an effort to understand the true financial costs of adverse events in acute care, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) commissioned research to investigate the literature on the economics of patient safety. Lead Investigators Dr. Edward Etchells, Associate Director of the University of Toronto Centre for Patient Safety and Dr. Nicole Mittmann, Executive Director of HOPE Research Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre reviewed published studies related to the economic burden of adverse events and to comparative economic evaluations. Their findings enabled them to calculate an estimate of economic burden of adverse events in Canada for 2009 – 2010 to be $396,633,936. They also recommend certain patient safety improvement strategies that could be considered economically attractive such as: pharmacist led medication reconciliation, chlorhexidine for vascular catheter site care, standard counting strategy for detecting surgical forign bodies, and Keystone ICU patient safety program to prevent central line-associated blood stream infections. Understanding the benefits and costs associated with patient safety and adverse events is imperative for enabling policy and decision makers to explore the potential for improving patient safety to help avoid unnecessary healthcare expenditures.
The report entitled, Economics of Patient Safety in Acute Care, is available below:
Click here to access the News Release.
Click here to access the research results.
Click here to access information on the Economics of Patient Safety in Acute Care Webinar. (program is only being offered in English)