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

Nguyen, Kim-Huong, Chaboyer, Wendy and Whitty, Jennifer A. (2015) Pressure injury in Australian public hospitals: a cost-of-illness study. Australian Health Review, 39 3: 329-336. doi:10.1071/AH14088

Author Nguyen, Kim-Huong
Chaboyer, Wendy
Whitty, Jennifer A.
Title Pressure injury in Australian public hospitals: a cost-of-illness study
Journal name Australian Health Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0156-5788
Publication date 2015-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/AH14088
Volume 39
Issue 3
Start page 329
End page 336
Total pages 8
Place of publication Clayton, VIC, Australia
Publisher CSIRO
Language eng
Subject 2719 Health Policy
Formatted abstract
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$983million 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$820million per annum. These estimates were associated with a total number of 121645 PI cases in 2012-13 and a total number of 524661 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.
Keyword Opportunity cost
Pressure ulcer
Prevalence rate
Treatment cost
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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