You do not expect to go into the hospital for surgery to heal a problem and then come out of surgery with an even bigger problem. This should never happen. In fact, there are several things in the health care field that should never happen.
Physician Ken Kizer coined the term “Never Event” in 2001 to describe things that should never occur. Here are three categories of never events that pertain to the health care system.
Patient Safety Network reports about “Wrong site, wrong procedure, wrong patient errors.” WSPEs fall under never events because, with prevention, these mistakes would never happen. Some include:
- Operating on the wrong side of the body
- Having hip surgery when it should be a knee repair
- Performing a procedure on the wrong person who may have the same name as the person who should have had the procedure
2. Patient protection
You rely on health care professionals to take care of you, so you would never think these events could happen:
- Death or personal injury when a patient disappears
- Suicide or attempted suicide while in the hospital
- Release of a patient who cannot make decisions
3. Patient care
You should be the No. 1 priority of nurses and doctors during a stay with them. However, never events concerning patient care may include:
- Death or disability because of a fall
- Death or injury because of medication error like wrong medication or dosage
- Death or harm because of miscommunication with laboratory, radiology or pathology
Never do you expect an event to occur that would result in death or serious injury because of the negligence of hospital doctors and staff. Ask questions if you believe the hospital has the wrong information. Protect yourself.