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Concept: Healthcare quality


BACKGROUND: Interest in human factors has increased across healthcare communities and institutions as the value of human centred design in healthcare becomes increasingly clear. However, as human factors is becoming more prominent, there is growing evidence of confusion about human factors science, both anecdotally and in scientific literature. Some of the misconceptions about human factors may inadvertently create missed opportunities for healthcare improvement. METHODS: The objective of this article is to describe the scientific discipline of human factors and provide common ground for partnerships between healthcare and human factors communities. RESULTS: The primary goal of human factors science is to promote efficiency, safety and effectiveness by improving the design of technologies, processes and work systems. As described in this article, human factors also provides insight on when training is likely (or unlikely) to be effective for improving patient safety. Finally, we outline human factors specialty areas that may be particularly relevant for improving healthcare delivery and provide examples to demonstrate their value. CONCLUSIONS: The human factors concepts presented in this article may foster interdisciplinary collaborations to yield new, sustainable solutions for healthcare quality and patient safety.

Concepts: Health, Medicine, Clinical trial, Health care provider, Healthcare quality, Illness, Social sciences, Science


Faecal immunochemical tests (FITs) and colonoscopy are two common screening tools for colorectal cancer(CRC). Most cost-effectiveness studies focused on survival as the outcome, and were based on modeling techniques instead of real world observational data. This study evaluated the cost-effectiveness of these two tests to detect colorectal neoplastic lesions based on data from a 5-year community screening service. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was assessed based on the detection rates of neoplastic lesions, and costs including screening compliance, polypectomy, colonoscopy complications, and staging of CRC detected. A total of 5,863 patients received yearly FIT and 4,869 received colonoscopy. Compared with FIT, colonoscopy detected notably more adenomas (23.6% vs. 1.6%) and advanced lesions or cancer (4.2% vs. 1.2%). Using FIT as control, the ICER of screening colonoscopy in detecting adenoma, advanced adenoma, CRC and a composite endpoint of either advanced adenoma or stage I CRC was US$3,489, US$27,962, US$922,762 and US$23,981 respectively. The respective ICER was US$3,597, US$439,513, -US$2,765,876 and US$32,297 among lower-risk subjects; whilst the corresponding figure was US$3,153, US$14,852, US$184,162 and US$13,919 among higher-risk subjects. When compared to FIT, colonoscopy is considered cost-effective for screening adenoma, advanced neoplasia, and a composite endpoint of advanced neoplasia or stage I CRC.

Concepts: Healthcare quality, Incremental cost-effectiveness ratio, Health economics, Anatomical pathology, Costs, Cost-effectiveness analysis, Oncology, Cancer


Patients may be offered cardiac rehabilitation (CR), a supervised programme often including exercises, education and psychological care, following a cardiac event, with the aim of reducing morbidity and mortality. Cost-constrained healthcare systems require information about the best use of budget and resources to maximise patient benefit. We aimed to systematically review and critically appraise economic studies of CR and its components. In January 2016, validated electronic searches of the National Health Service Economic Evaluation Database (NHS EED), Health Technology Assessment, PsycINFO, MEDLINE and Embase databases were run to identify full economic evaluations published since 2001. Two levels of screening were used and explicit inclusion criteria were applied. Prespecified data extraction and critical appraisal were performed using the NHS EED handbook and Drummond checklist. The majority of studies concluded that CR was cost-effective versus no CR (incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) ranged from $1065 to $71 755 per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY)). Evidence for specific interventions within CR was varied; psychological intervention ranged from dominant (cost saving and more effective) to $226 128 per QALY, telehealth ranged from dominant to $588 734 per QALY and while exercise was cost-effective across all relevant studies, results were subject to uncertainty. Key drivers of cost-effectiveness were risk of subsequent events and hospitalisation, hospitalisation and intervention costs, and utilities. This systematic review of studies evaluates the cost-effectiveness of CR in the modern era, providing a fresh evidence base for policy-makers. Evidence suggests that CR is cost-effective, especially with exercise as a component. However, research is needed to determine the most cost-effective design of CR.

Concepts: Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Registry, Critical appraisal, Evidence-based medicine, Systematic review, Costs, Cost-utility analysis, Healthcare quality, Health economics


The objective is to estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness of the Australian National Hand Hygiene Inititiave implemented between 2009 and 2012 using healthcare associated Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia as the outcome. Baseline comparators are the eight existing state and territory hand hygiene programmes. The setting is the Australian public healthcare system and 1,294,656 admissions from the 50 largest Australian hospitals are included.

Concepts: Cost-effectiveness analysis, Universal health care, Australia, Staphylococcus aureus, Healthcare quality, Health economics


Background The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) showed that screening with low-dose computed tomography (CT) as compared with chest radiography reduced lung-cancer mortality. We examined the cost-effectiveness of screening with low-dose CT in the NLST. Methods We estimated mean life-years, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), costs per person, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) for three alternative strategies: screening with low-dose CT, screening with radiography, and no screening. Estimations of life-years were based on the number of observed deaths that occurred during the trial and the projected survival of persons who were alive at the end of the trial. Quality adjustments were derived from a subgroup of participants who were selected to complete quality-of-life surveys. Costs were based on utilization rates and Medicare reimbursements. We also performed analyses of subgroups defined according to age, sex, smoking history, and risk of lung cancer and performed sensitivity analyses based on several assumptions. Results As compared with no screening, screening with low-dose CT cost an additional $1,631 per person (95% confidence interval [CI], 1,557 to 1,709) and provided an additional 0.0316 life-years per person (95% CI, 0.0154 to 0.0478) and 0.0201 QALYs per person (95% CI, 0.0088 to 0.0314). The corresponding ICERs were $52,000 per life-year gained (95% CI, 34,000 to 106,000) and $81,000 per QALY gained (95% CI, 52,000 to 186,000). However, the ICERs varied widely in subgroup and sensitivity analyses. Conclusions We estimated that screening for lung cancer with low-dose CT would cost $81,000 per QALY gained, but we also determined that modest changes in our assumptions would greatly alter this figure. The determination of whether screening outside the trial will be cost-effective will depend on how screening is implemented. (Funded by the National Cancer Institute; NLST number, NCT00047385 .).

Concepts: Paclitaxel, Healthcare quality, Tobacco smoking, Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Registry, Cancer, Costs, Cost-utility analysis, Health economics


BACKGROUND: Effective psychological therapies have been recommended for common mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, but provision has been poor. Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) may provide a cost-effective solution to this problem. AIMS: To determine the cost-effectiveness of IAPT at the Doncaster demonstration site (2007-2009). METHOD: An economic evaluation comparing costs and health outcomes for patients at the IAPT demonstration site with those for comparator sites, including a separate assessment of lost productivity. Sensitivity analyses were undertaken. RESULTS: The IAPT site had higher service costs and was associated with small additional gains in quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) compared with its comparator sites, resulting in a cost per QALY gained of £29 500 using the Short Form (SF-6D). Sensitivity analysis using predicted EQ-5D scores lowered this to £16 857. Costs per reliable and clinically significant (RCS) improvement were £9440 per participant. CONCLUSIONS: Improving Access to Psychological Therapies provided a service that was probably cost-effective within the usual National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) threshold range of £20 000-30 000, but there was considerable uncertainty surrounding the costs and outcome differences.

Concepts: Psychology, Healthcare quality, Sensitivity analysis, Costs, Quality-adjusted life year, Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Registry, Cost-utility analysis, Health economics


: The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has defined pressure ulcers (PUs) an important patient safety indicator (#3). Despite the existence of evidence-based guidelines for PU prevention and treatment from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the sustained success in reducing the development of PUs is elusive in many acute care hospitals.

Concepts: Patient safety, Massachusetts, Health insurance, Hospital, Medicine, Healthcare quality, Health care, United States


OBJECTIVE: To assess the cost-effectiveness of implantable loop recorders (ILRs) and tilt testing (TT) to direct pacing therapy in people with recurrent episodes of transient loss of consciousness that are adversely affecting their quality of life or represent a high risk of injury and are suspected to be vasovagal. DESIGN: Decision analytical modelling was used to estimate the costs and benefits of diagnostic testing including the costs and benefits of treatment for several clinically important arrhythmias following diagnosis. SETTING: A UK National Health Service and personal social services perspective was taken. PATIENTS: People with recurrent episodes of transient loss of consciousness that are adversely affecting their quality of life or represent a high risk of injury and which are suspected to be vasovagal. INTERVENTIONS: The diagnostic test strategies compared were TT alone, TT followed by ILR (if TT ‘negative’), ILR alone and no further testing. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Benefits measured using quality-adjusted life years and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICER) are reported. RESULTS: The ICERs for TT alone, ILR alone and TT followed by ILR were £5960, £24 620 and £19 110, respectively, compared with no testing. ILR alone was extendedly dominated by the other strategies, meaning that it is never the most cost-effective option. Sensitivity analysis found that the cost-effectiveness estimates were robust despite the areas of uncertainty identified in the evidence and assumptions used to inform the model. CONCLUSIONS: TT alone is likely to be the most cost-effective strategy in this population.

Concepts: Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Registry, Incremental cost-effectiveness ratio, Decision theory, Cost-effectiveness analysis, Healthcare quality, Cost-utility analysis, Health economics, Costs


This article describes the processes and tools used by WellStar Paulding Hospital to plan and design a new intensive care unit (ICU) as part of a 108-bed replacement hospital on a new site. Seeking to create a culture of safety centered around patient care, quality, and efficiency, the team used multiple external resources to increase their effectiveness as participants in the design process and to ensure that the new ICU achieves the functional performance goals identified at the beginning of planning and design. Specific focus on evidence-based design was assisted through participation in the Center for Health Design’s Pebble Project process as well as the Joint Commission International Safe Health Design Learning Academy Pilot Program.

Concepts: Patient, Health care, Design, Healthcare quality, Trent Accreditation Scheme, Joint Commission, Hospital accreditation, Hospital


Chronic leg ulcers cause long term ill-health for older adults and the condition places a significant burden on health service resources. Although evidence on effective management of the condition is available, a significant evidence-practice gap is known to exist, with many suggested reasons e.g. multiple care providers, costs of care and treatments. This study aimed to identify effective health service pathways of care which facilitated evidence-based management of chronic leg ulcers.

Concepts: Healthcare quality, Systematic review, Management, Illness, Medicine, Evidence-based medicine, Evidence-based management, Health care