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50% of Adverse Events Are Preventable

Commentary: Fifty percent, or one in every two, adverse events can be prevented. An adverse event is defined as “an unintended injury or complication resulting in death, disability or prolonged hospital stay caused by healthcare management.” Studies have shown that 37–70% of adverse events are preventable—for the sake of simplicity, I have summarized the study results to one figure—50%.

References

  • Baker GR, Norton PG, Flintoft V et al. The Canadian adverse events study: the incidence of adverse events among hospital patients in Canada. CMAJ 2004;170:1678–86.
  • Schiöler T, Lipczak H, Pedersen BL et al. Forekomsten af utilsigtede hændelser pa˚ sygehus. En retrospektiv gennamgang af journaler. [Incidence of adverse events in hospitals. A retrospective study of medical records, article in Danish, summary in English.] Ugeskr Læger 2001;163:5370–8.
  • Soop M, Fryksmark U, Köster M, Haglund B. The incidence of adverse events in Swedish hospitals: a retrospective medical record review study. Int J Qual Health Care 2009; 21(4):285–291.
  • Wilson RM, Runciman WB, Gibberd RW et al. The quality in Australian health care study. Med J Aust 1995;163:458–71.
  • Zegers M, Bruijne MC de, Wagner C, Hoonhout LHF, Waaijman R, Smits M, Hout FAG, Zwaan L, Christiaans-Dingelhoff I, Timmermans DRM, Groenewegen PP, Wal G van der. Adverse events and potentially preventable deaths in Dutch hospitals: results of a retrospective patient record review study. Quality & Safety in Health Care 2009; 18(4):297–302.
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