Using Economic Evaluation to Illustrate Value of Care for Improving Patient Safety and Quality: Choosing the Right Method

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To scale and sustain successful quality improvement (QI) interventions, it is recommended for health system leaders to calculate the economic and financial sustainability of the intervention. Many methods of economic evaluation exist, and the type of method depends on the audience: providers, researchers, and hospital executives. This is a primer to introduce cost-effectiveness analysis, budget impact analysis, and return on investment calculation as 3 distinct methods for each stakeholder needing a measurement of the value of QI at the health system level. Using cases for the QI of hospital-acquired condition rates (e.g., pressure injuries), this primer proceeds stepwise through each method beginning from the same starting point of constructing a model so that the repetition of steps is minimized and thereby capturing the attention of all intended audiences.

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