Top 10 Sentinel Events Reviewed by Joint Commission in 2012

In 2012, The Joint Commission reviewed a total of 901 sentinel events.

The 10 most common sentinel events reviewed by The Joint Commission in 2012 include the following:


1. Unintended retention of a foreign body
2. Wrong-patient, wrong-site, wrong-procedure
3. Delay in treatment
4. Suicide
5. Op/Post-op complication
6. Fall
7. Other unanticipated event (includes unexpected additional care/extended care and psychological impact)
8. Criminal event
9. Medication error
10. Perinatal death/injury

The Joint Commission noted, "The reporting of most sentinel events to The Joint Commission is voluntary and represents only a small proportion of actual events. Therefore these data are not an epidemiologic data set and no conclusions should be drawn about the actual relative frequency of events or trends in events over time."

More Articles on The Joint Commission:

John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award Recipients Announced
Joint Commission Proposes Alarm Management National Patient Safety Goal

Joint Commission Changes Laboratory Accreditation Requirement

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