The National Quality Forum has defined 29 never events—patient safety problems that should never occur, such as wrong-site surgery and patient falls. Since 2003, Minnesota hospitals have been required to report such incidents. The 2021 report summarizes information about 508 adverse events that were reported, representing a significant increase in the year covered. Earlier reports document a fairly consistent count of adverse events. The rise reflected here is likely due to demands on staffing and care processes associated with COVID-19. Pressure ulcers and fall-related injuries were the most common incidents documented. Reports from previous years are available.
In the context of system failures that contributed to the death of a patient, this newspaper article describes how never events are rarely publicized, even though hospital inspection reports are public records.
National Priorities Partnership. Washington, DC: National Quality Forum; 2008. ISBN: 1933875194.
This report resulted from a consensus program involving 28 national organizations that sought to outline goals for improving the US health care system and share examples of such efforts in patient safety and other identified areas.
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