J Clin Outcomes Manage
Staff injury, interdisciplinary care, and financial cost to a behavioral health care organization
Russell M, Wasser T, Kiesling SS, Fraker G, Benoit MB, Lewis KA
Abstract: Objective: To determine and define the overall cost of staff injury caused by clients over a 6-year period at a residential psychiatric care facility. Design: Observational study using an existing staff injury database. Methods: Each staff member had his injury scenario entered into a database including the cost of the injury, a brief narrative describing the injury, as well as demographic information about the staff member such as where the incident occurred and the body part affected by the injury. A previously established and validated severity coding system was applied to the data. Results: Mild injuries (53%) had the highest mean cost per injury ($1612) and consumed the greatest cost for the organization for injuries caused by a client ($4,036,983). Severe injuries were the least frequent of any injury (0.6%) and consumed the smallest cost of any other category ($74,883). Over a 6-year period there were 5685 staff injuries that had a total cost of $16,439,221. Conclusion: The greatest costs in terms of total cost and average cost per injury were for injuries coded as mild. Interventions to reduce these injuries would have the greatest financial impact on an organization.
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