Expanding the List of Medical Misadventures that Should Never Happen

Nearly 10 years ago, the National Quality Forum (NQF) published a report, Serious Reportable Events (SREs) in Healthcare. It identified 27 really horrible mistakes occurring in hospitals deemed largely preventable and of concern to both the public and health-care providers. Thanks to their extreme nature, these "adverse events" have come to be known colloquially as "never events." They include such medical misadventures as surgery on the wrong body part, festering bedsores acquired after admission, patient falls and life-threatening medication errors.

Establishing consensus of what constitutes preventable errors among everyone vested in the satisfactory delivery of health care - consumers, providers, researchers, etc.- facilitates clear accounting and resolution of them.

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