Pressure injury in Australian public hospitals: a cost-of-illness study

Nguyen, Kim-Huong, Chaboyer, Wendy and Whitty, Jennifer A. ORCID: (2015) Pressure injury in Australian public hospitals: a cost-of-illness study. Australian Health Review, 39 (3). pp. 329-336. ISSN 0156-5788

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Objective: Pressure injuries (PI) are largely preventable and can be viewed as an adverse outcome of a healthcare admission, yet they affect millions of people and consume billions of dollars in healthcare spending. The existing literature in Australia presents a patchy picture of the economic burden of PI on society and the health system. The aim of the present study was to provide a more comprehensive and updated picture of PI by state and severity using publicly available data. Methods: A cost-of-illness analysis was conducted using a prevalence approach and a 1-year time horizon based on data from the existing literature extrapolated using simulation methods to estimate the costs by PI severity and state subgroups. Results: The treatment cost across all states and severity in 2012–13 was estimated to be A$983 million per annum, representing approximately 1.9% of all public hospital expenditure or 0.6% of the public recurrent health expenditure. The opportunity cost was valued at an additional A$820 million per annum. These estimates were associated with a total number of 121 645 PI cases in 2012–13 and a total number of 524 661 bed days lost. Conclusions: The costs estimated in the present study highlight the economic waste for the Australian health system associated with a largely avoidable injury. Wastage can also be reduced by preventing moderate injuries (Stage I and II) from developing into severe cases (Stage III and IV), because the severe cases, accounting for 12% of cases, mounted to 30% of the total cost.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: opportunity cost,pressure ulcer,prevalence rate,treatment cost
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2016 11:01
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 05:30
DOI: 10.1071/AH14088

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