Hospital  >  Research  >  About SRI  >  News & events  >  Research News

Study to examine economics of patient safety

June 7, 2010

In an effort to understand the true financial costs of adverse events, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) is supporting research to explore the "economic implications" associated with patient safety. CPSI is pleased to announce that Dr. Edward Etchells, associate director of the University of Toronto Centre for Patient Safety, and co-principal investigator, Sunnybrook's Dr. Nicole Mittmann will lead this important research.

The research is being supported through unrestricted grants from 3M Health Care and Baxter Corporation.

"The essence of this work is to gain an evidence-informed sense of the cost borne by the health system in Canada arising from adverse events," says Dr. Etchells. "We will also examine the economic value of programs which enhance the use of best practices and reduce unsafe practices."

"This information will assist the CPSI in providing health organizations with an estimate and magnitude of the economic costs they bear as a result of current patient safety practices/adverse events," says Hugh MacLeod, CEO, CPSI.

Until recently, relatively little attention has been directed toward the economic impact of such events. Few studies have attempted to estimate the additional costs of adverse events in hospital care, and fewer still the costs in health-care settings outside of hospitals.

Johns Hopkins' Dr. Peter Pronovost of the Center for Innovations in Quality Patient Care and Quality and Safety Research Group agrees.

"We need to stop thinking about care as safe and unsafe. Rather we must think of safety in degrees and understand how much each additional layer of safety costs. This type of research will provide this needed information," he says

Edited and republished with permission from the Canadian Patient Safety Institute.