1887

OECD Health Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership health studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.

English, French

The economics of patient safety in primary and ambulatory care

Flying blind

Building on published patient safety research literature, this paper aims to broaden the existing knowledge base on safety lapses occurring in primary and ambulatory care settings.

The findings of this paper show that safety lapses in primary and ambulatory care are common. About half of the global burden of patient harm originates in primary and ambulatory care, and estimates suggest that nearly four out of ten patients experience safety issue(s) in their interaction with this setting. Safety lapses in primary and ambulatory care most often result in an increased need for care or hospitalisations. Available evidence estimates the direct costs of safety lapses – the additional tests, treatments and health care – in primary and ambulatory care to be around 2.5% of total health expenditure. Safety lapses resulting in hospitalisations each year may count 6% of total hospital bed days and more than 7 million admissions in the OECD.

English

JEL: H51: Public Economics / National Government Expenditures and Related Policies / National Government Expenditures and Health; I18: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Health: Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health; I19: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Health: Other; I10: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Health: General
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