Background: Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) represent a crucial issue in health and patient safety management due to the persistent nature, economic impact and possible preventability of the phenomenon. Compensation claims for damages resulting from HAI could provide insights that improve the understanding of suboptimal steps in the therapeutic process, enable an estimate of costs related to infectious complications, and guide the development of planning tools for implementation of the quality of care.
Objective: This paper analyzes all the HAI claims received at the Umberto I General Hospital of Rome across a five-year period with the aim of outlining a methodological approach to the litigation management and of characterizing the economic impact of infections on health facilities resources.
Method: All claims received during the study period have been classified according to the International Classification for Patient Safety (ICPS) system. Subsequently, claims related to Healthcare Associated Infections were evaluated through an innovative tool for determination of the risk of loss, the Advanced Loss Eventuality Assessment (ALEA) score.
Results: The results obtained demonstrate the relevance of a correct management of HAI claims in the administration of a health care system. Specifically, the cases examined during the study highlighted the significant impact of infectious diseases of a nosocomial nature in terms of frequency and economic exposure.
Conclusion: The proposed methodological approach allows a productive analysis of the internal processes, providing fundamental data for the refinement of the preventive strategies and for the rationalization of the resources through the expenditure forecasts.
Keywords: Healthcare-Associated Infections, litigation management, HAI claims, ALEA score, technical estimates, cost analysis, quality of health care, patient safety.
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