Reducing 'Never Events' by Increasing Transparency

In attempts to reduce the occurrence of "never events," medical errors that should not happen if proper preventive protocols are in place, the National Health Service in England is publishing details on them to increase transparency.

Traditionally, data on never events are posted annually in England. Starting in April 2014, the data will be updated monthly.

Never events include errors like wrong-site surgery, leaving items inside a patient’s body and improperly administering certain drugs.

The rate of never events in England is about 1 in every 20,000 procedures, according to the news release.

Mike Durkin, MD, national director of patient safety at NHS England, said instead of “naming and shaming”, this publication aims to increase transparency to identify errors and learn from them moving forward.

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