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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Web Resource
Government Resource

Adverse Events in Skilled Nursing Facilities: National Incidence Among Medicare Beneficiaries.

Levinson DR. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General; February 2014. Report No. OEI-06-11-00370.

This report from the Office of the Inspector General examines the nationwide incidence of adverse events in skilled nursing facilities among the Medicare population. Approximately 22% of beneficiaries who stayed in a skilled nursing facility experienced an adverse event, and more than half were preventable. These results mirror previous studies documenting an overall poor level of safety culture in nursing homes. More than half of those who experienced harm were readmitted to the hospital. The report outlines recommendations, including raising awareness of safety concerns in this setting and instructing surveyors who inspect nursing homes to evaluate patient safety practices. These findings emphasize the importance of focusing outside acute care settings in order to advance patient safety by improving systems of care and by aligning accreditation and payment structures. A past AHRQ WebM&M interview discussed unique issues surrounding patient safety in the nursing home population.