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Washington, DC: National Quality Forum; September 2009.
This announcement provides background on the proposed 2010 effort to revise and expand the National Quality Forum list of never events.
Journal Article > Study
Fry DE, Pine M, Jones BL, Meimban RJ. Arch Surg. 2010;145:148-151.
The term never event was originally coined to describe rare, devastating, and preventable events like wrong-site surgery or fatal medication errors. This definition has expanded over time to include a variety of serious adverse events; for some of them (i.e., certain health care–associated infections), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services denies additional reimbursement. This article sought to determine if eight never events (mostly infectious complications of surgery) are truly preventable, by examining whether baseline patient characteristics could predict which patients would experience a never event. The authors found that incidence of most of these complications could be predicted on the basis of preexisting conditions or the specific surgical procedure performed, calling into question whether these events are truly preventable. This study exemplifies research into the "basic science" of patient safety; a prior commentary called for studies focusing on identifying truly preventable harm and developing accurate, reliable measurement standards.
Journal Article > Study
Mehtsun WT, Ibrahim AM, Diener-West M, Pronovost PJ, Makary MA. Surgery. 2013;153:465-472.
More than a decade ago, stories of wrong site surgeries and retained surgical objects galvanized the patient safety movement. Despite public uproar and attention focused on these never events, such incidents continue to occur at alarming rates. This study found that surgeons make these mistakes more than 4000 times per year in the United States. Related malpractice payments have amounted to more than $1.3 billion over the last 20 years. Although this financial burden is substantial, it may pale in comparison to the degree of patient harm resulting from these preventable errors. An incident of wrong-site surgery is discussed in an AHRQ WebM&M commentary.
Washington, DC: National Quality Forum; June 13, 2011.
This publication announces the 2011 National Quality Forum update of 2010 never events. The opportunity to provide open comment of the 29 serious reportable events, which includes 4 new events, has now passed.
Office of Health Care Quality. Baltimore, MD: Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; 2018.
This annual report summarizes never events in Maryland hospitals over the previous year. From July 2016--June 2017, reported patient falls and pressure ulcers increased. The authors recommend several corrective actions to build on training and policy changes to guide improvement work, including improving use of hospital data to proactively manage risk and engaging hospital and departmental leaders in root cause analysis.