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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Developing and evaluating an automated all-cause harm trigger system.

Sammer C, Miller S, Jones C, et al. Joint Commission journal on quality and patient safety. 2017;43:155-165.

Trigger tools seek to identify adverse events by flagging cases for review based on a particular data point (the "trigger"). Investigators, working through a Patient Safety Organization, sought an alternative to the widely used Institute for Healthcare Improvement Global Trigger Tool, one that would require less time and fewer resources. They developed a single, automated trigger encompassing a multitude of possible harms that could be implemented in real time. The most common harm identified by the novel trigger tool was hypoglycemia. The authors note that their tool detected more adverse events than the AHRQ Patient Safety Indicators. An accompanying editorial lauds this study as a step forward in efforts to harness the electronic health records to enhance patient safety through data analysis.