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  • Published December 2011

Serious Reportable Events in Healthcare—2011 Update.

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The National Quality Forum originally defined 27 health care "never events"—patient safety events that pose serious harm to patients, but should be considered preventable—in 2002. The 2011 update now consists of 29 events, organized into surgical events (e.g., wrong-site surgery), device events (e.g., air embolism), care management events (e.g., death or disability due to medication errors), patient protection events (e.g., patient suicide), environmental events (e.g., fires), radiologic events, and criminal events. One notable addition to the original list is that serious harm associated with failure to properly follow up on test results is now considered a never event. Since the development and dissemination of this list, many states have mandated that health care facilities report all instances of these events. When such an event occurs, many institutions mandate performance of a root cause analysis.

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