An economic analysis of a safe resident handling program in nursing homes.
Lahiri-S; Latif-S; Punnett-L; ProCare Research Team
Am J Ind Med 2013 Apr; 56(4):469-478
Background: Occupational injuries, especially back problems related to resident handling, are common in nursing home employees and their prevention may require substantial up-front investment. This study evaluated the economics of a safe resident handling program (SRHP), in a large chain of skilled nursing facilities, from the corporation's perspective. Methods: The company provided data on program costs, compensation claims, and turnover rates (2003-2009). Workers' compensation and turnover costs before and after the intervention were compared against investment costs using the ''net-cost model.'' Results: Among 110 centers, the overall benefit-to-cost ratio was 1.7-3.09 and the payback period was 1.98-1.06 year (using alternative turnover cost estimates). The average annualized net savings per bed for the 110 centers (using company based turnover cost estimates) was $143, with a 95% confidence interval of $22-$264. This was very similar to the average annualized net savings per full time equivalent (FTE) staff member, which was $165 (95% confidence interval $22-$308). However, at 49 centers costs exceeded benefits. Conclusions: Decreased costs of worker injury compensation claims and turnover appear at least partially attributable to the SRHP. Future research should examine center-specific factors that enhance program success, and improve measures of turnover costs and healthcare productivity.
Health-care; Health-care-facilities; Health-care-personnel; Manual-lifting; Nurses; Nursing; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Back-injuries; Hoisting-equipment; Safety-equipment; Workplace-studies; Employee-health; Analytical-models; Mathematical-models; Statistical-analysis; Total-Worker-Health;
Author Keywords: cost-benefit analysis; safe resident handling; nursing homes; net-cost model; return on investment; workplace interventions
Supriya Lahiri, PhD, Professor, Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts Lowell, One University Ave., Lowell, MA 01854
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
University of Massachusetts, Lowell