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Medical Errors as “Never Events”

Published on August 10th, 2010

The National Quality Forum has studied and evaluated medical errors.  They have created a limited number of "never events" meaning, of course, that they should never happen.   See article here.   Most of these mistakes happen while a patient is being cared for in a nursing home.

Here are some that you often see in nursing home litigation: 
-Patient death or serious disability associated with the use or function of a device in patient care in which the device is used or functions other than as intended 
-Patient death or serious disability associated with patient disappearance for more than four hours 
-Patient death or serious disability associated with a medication error 
-Patient death or serious disability associated with hypoglycemia, the onset of which occurs while the patient is being cared for in a healthcare facility 
-Stage 3 or 4 pressure ulcers acquired after admission to a healthcare facility 
-Patient death or serious disability associated with a burn incurred from any source while being cared for in a healthcare facility
-Patient death associated with a fall while being cared for in a healthcare facility
-Patient death or serious disability associated with the use of restraints or bedrails while being cared for in a healthcare facility 
-Any instance of care ordered by or provided by someone impersonating a physician, nurse, pharmacist, or other licensed healthcare provider 
-Sexual assault on a patient within or on the grounds of a healthcare facility
-Death or significant injury of a patient or staff member resulting from a physical assault (i.e., battery) that occurs within or on the grounds of a healthcare facility

To learn more about this list, and the criteria for including a medical error on this list, visit the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services website.

 

Joe Pioletti
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