Clarity needed on how and when to report medical adverse events

Physicians, nurses and other health professionals who work in hospitals soon may be getting a one-size-fits-all list of what adverse events they should report to improve patient safety.

That is the principal recommendation of a report released in January by the Dept. of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services already have pledged to deliver such a must-report adverse events list.

The OIG’s study found that 86% of harmful inpatient adverse events are not captured by hospitals’ incident-reporting systems, with physicians and other health professionals often choosing not to report the patient harm cases because they did not believe they were supposed to. Health professionals reported only two of the 18 most serious events identified — those that involved permanent disability or death, the study said.

My latest. Read the whole shebang.