European Union of Private Hospitals

Angela Blanco, Policy Analyst-Health Systems EU DG SANTE, reported about the results of the Study on Cost of Unsafe Care and Cost-effectiveness of Patient Safety Programmes. The aim of the project is to provide evidence with a comprehensive picture of the financial impact of poor patient safety and cost-effectiveness of patient safety programmes in the EU, in response to adverse and to give some recommendations.
The burden resulting from adverse events is not negligible. The simulation model estimates EU-wide savings up to EUR 300 million for a programme to reduce several healthcare-associated infections; about EUR 2 billion for a programme to reduce pressure ulcers; about EUR 6 billion for implementing an electronic medication ordering system.
Economic assessments of patient safety initiatives face a few challenges : the definition of costs and the low number and high variability in published figures on prevalence and costs of adverse events.
For performing reliable economic burden studies and cost-effectiveness analyses in patient safety, it is essential to systematically collect data on patient safety related incidents and obtain reliable cost figures for these adverse events in European countries. For countries where such studies have not yet been performed, a standardized system for periodic reporting of adverse events would be helpful, as well as a standardized system for all countries. Many European countries still have difficulties with finding an adequate and reliable data collection model.