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Patient safety events make hospital stays longer and more costly.

Hospital stays that result in a patient safety event are 17% more costly and 22% longer compared with stays with no events. The most expensive and most common events are medication and treatment errors, accounting for 77% of all event types and 77% of added costs, according to researchers.

Events considered the most expensive were medication errors and patient falls (21% higher cost), behavioral problems (15%), loss/exposure (13%), treatment (12%), and equipment (11%). Patient falls incurred the greatest increase in length of stay (34% longer), followed by medication events (26%), loss/exposure (25%), behavioral problems (21%), treatment (13%), and equipment (10%).

For more info, see Paradis, A.R., et al. (2009). Excess cost and length of stay associated with voluntary patient safety event reports in hospitals. American Journal of Medical Quality, 24(1), 53-60.

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Publication:Nursing Economics
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Sep 1, 2009
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