The incidence of adverse events in Swedish hospitals: a retrospective medical record review study
Michael Soop1, Ulla Fryksmark1, Max K�ster2 and Bengt Haglund2
1 Department for Supervision of Healthcare Services, National Board of Health and Welfare, Stockholm, Sweden
2 Centre for Epidemiology, National Board of Health and Welfare, Stockholm, Sweden.
International Journal for Quality in Health Care Advance . Public access online on June 25, 2009
Address reprint requests to: Michael Soop, Department for Supervision of Healthcare Services, National Board of Health and Welfare, 10630, Stockholm, Sweden. Tel: +46 701623328; Fax: +46 752473555; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract. Download the full article here
Objectives. To estimate the incidence, nature and consequences of adverse events and preventable adverse events in Swedish hospitals.
Design. A three-stage structured retrospective medical record review based on the use of 18 screening criteria.
Setting. Twenty-eight Swedish hospitals.
Population. A representative sample (n = 1967) of the 1.2 million Swedish hospital admissions between October 2003 and September 2004.
Main Outcome Measures. Proportion of admissions with adverse events, the proportion of preventable adverse events and the types and consequences of adverse events.
Results. In total, 12.3% (n = 241) of the 1967 admissions had adverse events (95% CI, 10.8�13.7), of which 70% (n = 169) were preventable. Fifty-five percent of the preventable events led to impairment or disability, which was resolved during the admission or within 1 month from discharge, another 33% were resolved within 1 year, 9% of the preventable events led to permanent disability and 3% of the adverse events contributed to patient death. Preventable adverse events led to a mean increased length of stay of 6 days. Ten of the 18 screening criteria were sufficient to detect 90% of the preventable adverse events. When extrapolated to the 1.2 million annual admissions, the results correspond to 105 000 preventable adverse events (95% CI, 90 000�120 000) and 630 000 days of hospitalization (95% CI, 430 000�830 000).
Conclusions. This study confirms that preventable adverse events were common, and that they caused extensive human suffering and consumed a significant amount of the available hospital resources.
Keywords: adverse events, medical record review, patient safety, risk management