Identifying adverse event patterns improves patient safety

Documenting post-operative adverse events (AEs) and determining their severity can help hospitals identify patient safety needs and develop appropriately targeted interventions for improvement, according to a new study published in Patient Safety in Surgery.

The study analyzed three Midwestern hospitals in a large integrated healthcare system, examining data from 2006 to 2009 for reported AE rates for 96 categories, and classified them by type, severity and patient age, according to the study.

Researchers found that of the 82,784 hospitalizations involving at least one surgical procedure, at least one AE was reported in 5,368 (6.5 percent) of those hospitalizations. The mean rate of AEs among all surgical procedure groups was 82.8 per 1,000 hospitalizations, but it varied widely among surgical categories, with a high of 555.7 per 1,000 for operations on the heart and pericardium, according to the study. The most common AE involved care management, followed by medication events and then those related to invasive procedures.

"Documenting the specific AE incidence rates among the most common types of surgical categories, and determining AE severity and age distributions within surgical categories will enable officials to better identify specific patient safety needs and develop appropriately targeted interventions for improvement," researchers concluded.

Unintended retention of a foreign body and wrong-patient, wrong-site, wrong procedure, were the most frequently hospital-reported medical errors in 2012, according to the Joint Commission, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
- here's the study abstract