Never Events

Errors occur in medicine. Yet many of these errors could be prevented. In fact, the National Quality Forum has found that certain errors should always be preventable. These errors are called "Never Events." Such events simply should never happen to anyone, ever.

Each year in the United States, more than two million healthcare-acquired conditions are responsible for 90,000 deaths and $5.7 billion in added healthcare costs. Costs associated with other medical harm - including healthcare expenses, lost work productivity, lost income, and disability - have been estimated as high as $29 billion per year. These statistics illustrate an urgent need to improve patient safety. The following incidents are just some of the healthcare events that should NEVER happen:

  • Invasive procedure/surgery performed on the wrong patient or site
  • Unintended retention of a foreign object in a patient after an invasive procedure/surgery
  • Patient death or serious injury associated with the use of contaminated drugs, devices or remedies provided within the healthcare setting
  • Patient death or serious injury associated with patient elopement/disappearance
  • Patient death or serious injury associated with a medication error
  • Patient death or serious injury associated with unsafe administration of blood products
  • Patient death or serious injury associated with a fall while being cared for in a healthcare setting
  • Any Stage 3, Stage 4, and unstageable pressure ulcers acquired after admission/presentation to a healthcare setting
  • Artificial insemination with the wrong donor sperm or wrong egg
  • Patient death or serious injury resulting from the irretrievable loss of an irreplaceable biological specimen
  • Patient death or serious injury resulting from failure to follow up or communicate laboratory, pathology, or radiology test results
  • Patient or staff death or serious injury associated with a burn incurred from any source in the patient care process within a healthcare setting

Twenty-six states and the District of Columbia have enacted reporting systems to help healthcare providers identify and learn from serious reportable events. Unfortunately, Missouri does not require healthcare providers to self-report "Never Events." In 2011, the Missouri Board of Healing Arts reported only 10 total healthcare providers who were disciplined by the Board for careless and negligent care.

For more information about "Never Events," go to: http://www.health.gov/hai/pdfs/hai-action-plan-framework.pdf

For more information about the Missouri Board of Healing Arts: http://pr.mo.gov/boards/healingarts/Disciplinary%20Miscellaneous%20Report.pdf

The only effective police of bad healthcare are those patients willing to advocate for themselves and others. We have been policing bad healthcare in Missouri since 1984. We have assisted patients in getting their lives back by going to court and seeking damages for medical bills, wage loss, future needs, and pain and suffering.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of negligent medical care or a "Never Event," please  contact us. At Hall Ansley, we have seen several Missourians suffer from "Never Events," and while we can never fully restore what was lost, our  medical malpractice case results demonstrate our firm's past success in getting the justice patients deserve.