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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Detection of adverse events in surgical patients using the Trigger Tool approach.

Griffin FA, Classen DC. Quality & safety in health care. 2008;17:253-8.

Trigger tools have proved to be a useful method of screening for adverse events, with prior research demonstrating their utility in the intensive care unit and pediatric hospitals. This study reports on the development of a trigger tool for identification of postoperative adverse events. The tool was tested through a collaborative approach between 11 hospitals, yielding a list of 23 clinical events that formed the complete trigger tool. Pilot testing indicated that this tool successfully identified adverse outcomes that had not been reported through other mechanisms. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement, which sponsored this study and pioneered the development of the trigger tool approach, maintains a Web site with information on trigger tools for a variety of clinical situations.