Ottawa Hospital Patient Safety Study: incidence and timing of adverse events in patients admitted to a Canadian teaching hospital

Alan J Forster, Tim R Asmis, Heather D Clark, Ghiath Al Saied, Catherine C Code, Sharon C Caughey, Kevin Baker, James Watters, Jim Worthington, Carl van Walraven et al.
Canadian Medical Association Journal: CMAJ 2004 April 13, 170 (8): 1235-40

BACKGROUND: Adverse events are poor patient outcomes that are due to medical care. Studies of hospital patients have demonstrated that adverse events are common, but few data describe the timing of them in relation to hospital admission. We evaluated characteristics of adverse events affecting patients admitted to a Canadian teaching hospital, paying particular attention to timing.

METHODS: We randomly selected 502 adults admitted to the Ottawa Hospital for acute care of nonpsychiatric illnesses over a 1-year period. Charts were reviewed in 2 stages. If an adverse event was judged to have occurred, a physician determined whether it occurred before or during the index hospitalization. The reviewer also rated the preventability, severity and type of each adverse event.

RESULTS: Of the 64 patients with an adverse event (incidence 12.7%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 10.1%-16.0%), 24 had a preventable event (4.8%, 95% CI 3.2%-7.0%), and 3 (0.6%, 95% CI 0.2%-1.7%) died because of an adverse event. Most adverse events were due to drug treatment, operative complications or nosocomial infections. Of the 64 patients, 39 (61%, 95% CI 49%-72%) experienced the adverse event before the index hospitalization.

INTERPRETATION: Adverse events were common in this study. However, only one-third were deemed avoidable, and most occurred before the hospitalization. Interventions to improve safety must address ambulatory care as well as hospital-based care.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"