• Study
  • Published October 2006

A trigger tool to identify adverse events in the intensive care unit. 

This study describes the use of a focused chart review method centered around identification of triggers associated with adverse events (AEs). Non-physician reviewers at 54 hospitals screened charts for evidence of 23 clinical events, such as chest tube insertion, code status change, or readmission to the intensive care unit (ICU). If any of these triggers were present, the relevant portion of the chart was reviewed using methodology similar to the Harvard Medical Practice Study, and a physician confirmed the presence and severity of any AE identified. The authors found a rate of 11.3 AEs per 1000 patient-days, consistent with prior research, although this includes both preventable and non-preventable AEs. The authors state that using this focused review process to screen for AEs in the ICU can provide data to use in appropriately targeting patient safety measures.

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