In hospitals throughout New Mexico and other states, “never events” can sometimes occur. According to the National Quality Forum, these are serious, reportable events that should never take place. A few examples of these events are performing surgery on the wrong part of the body or making a severe medication error. With that in mind, here’s a closer look at never events.
How hospitals should respond to never events
The health care company Leapfrog’s policy states that nine things must happen after a never event. These steps are as follows:
- Make an apology to the patient.
- Report the never event.
- Conduct an analysis of the event.
- Waive all costs related to the never event.
- Upon request, give a patient details about the event in document form.
- Involve a willing patient or their family members to join the hospital’s root-cause analysis.
- Let the patient and family know about plans to prevent future never events.
- Implement protocol to support caregivers involved in the never event.
- Complete a yearly review to ensure compliance with company policies.
More details about Leapfrog’s recent report
Out of more than 2,000 hospitals that took part in a 2018 survey, only 74.5% followed all nine steps in Leapfrog’s policy on never events. Considering the seriousness of any kind of medical malpractice case, the findings of Leapfrog’s report are quite alarming.
Furthermore, this report found that rural hospitals were less likely to comply with each step of Leapfrog’s never event policy. While 77% of hospitals in urban areas followed each of Leapfrog’s steps, only 64% of rural hospitals did the same. Leapfrog’s CEO noted that the company recently adding steps to its never event policy might have caused a drop in overall policy compliance.
Never events remain problematic situations for both a hospital and its patients. If you or someone you know was the victim of a never event, it’s important to find someone who’s able to advocate for your rights. You might find help with your case by contacting a medical malpractice lawyer.