The Washington, D.C.-based National Quality Forum (NQF) Board has recently approved for endorsement a list of 29 serious reportable events (SREs) in healthcare as outlined in the report "Serious Reportable Events in Healthcare–2011 Update: A Consensus Report." Of the events submitted, 25 were updated from their earlier endorsement in 2006, and four new events were added to the list. The full list of events will be available for a 30-day public appeals process closing Thursday, July 7.
SREs represent largely preventable errors and events, such as wrong-site surgery, stage 3 or 4 pressure ulcers acquired post-admission, patient falls, or serious medication errors. The first NQF-endorsed® list of Serious Reportable Events in Healthcare was released in 2002. Originally envisioned as a set of events that might form the basis for a national state-based reporting system, the SREs continue to fulfill that purpose as states and individual organizations have put them into practice. This uniform approach to measurement helps to drive overall national improvement in patient safety through shared learning and prevention. Currently, more than half of the states use the NQF-endorsed list of SREs in their public reporting programs.
For this new endorsement project, each of the SREs has been reviewed in terms of its applicability to four specific settings of care: hospitals, outpatient or office-based surgery centers, skilled nursing facilities, and ambulatory practice settings, specifically office-based practices. The report focuses on identifying and specifying each event for public reporting within the applicable settings of care.
The purpose of the 2011 update is three-fold: 1) to ensure the continued currency and appropriateness of each event in the list; 2) to ensure the events remain appropriate for public accountability; and 3) to provide guidance gained by implementers to those just beginning to report these events, across hospitals and for three newly specified settings of care—office-based practices, ambulatory surgery centers, and skilled nursing facilities.