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The premier resource for hospital professionals from Relias Media, the trusted source for healthcare information and continuing education.

Too many adverse events go unreported

Though increased awareness and emphasis has been placed on patient safety and preventing errors, the Office of the Inspector General of HHS recently revealed that hospitals are only reporting 14% of incidents of patient harm involving Medicare beneficiaries. The report included data from voluntary reporting systems of 189 hospitals.

So how could a whopping 86% of adverse events fall through the cracks? OIG found that staff did not perceive a huge chunk of the events as reportable. Other events were usually reported but simply were not. Twelve percent of the incidents went unreported because staff said they were “not caused by a perceptible error”.

OIG has recommended that a master list of reportable events be compiled for hospitals. AHRQ and CMS will team up to develop such a list of must-report events. No timetable has been given yet.

Read OIG’s full report here.