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NQF Adds 4 Serious Reportable Events, Updates 25

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, June 15, 2011

The National Quality Forum board has announced that it has approved for endorsement a list of 29 serious reportable events in healthcare. The list includes four new events, along with 25 updated events from an earlier endorsement in 2006.

The four new serious reportable events are:

  • Radiologic events that cause the death or serious injury of a patient or staff associated with the introduction of a metallic object into the MRI area;
  • Death or serious injury of a neonate associated with labor or delivery in a low-risk pregnancy;
  •  Patient death or serious injury resulting from the irretrievable loss of an irreplaceable biological specimen, and;
  • Patient death or serious injury resulting from failure to follow up or communicate laboratory, pathology, or radiology test results. 

The recommendations are outlined in the report Serious Reportable Events in Healthcare–2011 Update: A Consensus Report. The full list of events will be available for a 30-day public appeals process closing July 7. 

 “Tens of thousands of lives are forever changed each year as a result of healthcare errors,” said Janet Corrigan, president/CEO of the National Quality Forum said in a media release. “This newly expanded list of serious reportable events across multiple settings provides a critical opportunity to learn from mistakes and take swift action to improve patient safety.”   


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The first NQF-endorsed list of Serious Reportable Events in Healthcare was released in 2002 as a set of events that might form the basis for a national state-based reporting system. This uniform approach to measurement helps to drive overall national improvement in patient safety. Currently, more than half of states use the NQF-endorsed list of SREs in their public reporting programs.

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