A cost-benefit analysis of peer coaching for overhead lift use in the long-term care sector in Canada
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OBJECTIVES: To evaluate whether a peer-coaching programme for patient lift use in British Columbia, Canada, was effective and cost-beneficial. METHODS: We used monthly panel data from 15 long-term care facilities from 2004 to 2011 to estimate the number of patient-handling injuries averted by the peer-coaching programme using a generalised estimating equation model. Facilities that had not yet introduced the programme served as concurrent controls. Accepted lost-time claim counts related to patient handling were the outcome of interest with a denominator of full-time equivalents of nursing staff. A cost-benefit approach was used to estimate the net monetary gains at the system level. RESULTS: The coaching programme was found to be associated with a reduction in the injury rate of 34% during the programme and 56% after the programme concluded with an estimated 62 lost-time injury claims averted. 2 other factors were associated with changes in injury rates: larger facilities had a lower injury rate, and the more care hours per bed the lower the injury rate. We calculated monetary benefits to the system of $748 431 and costs of $894 000 (both in 2006 Canadian dollars) with a benefit-to-cost ratio of 0.84. The benefit-to-cost ratio was -0.05 in the worst case scenario and 2.31 in the best case scenario. The largest cost item was peer coaches' time. A simulation of the programme continuing for 5 years with the same coaching intensity would result in a benefit-to-cost ratio of 0.63. CONCLUSIONS: A peer-coaching programme to increase effective use of overhead lifts prevented additional patient-handling injuries but added modest incremental cost to the system.
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