The Promise and Pitfalls of Detecting Harm Through Automated Trigger Systems
If you’re dedicated to continuous improvement and patient safety, you have to acknowledge that health care organizations sometimes harm patients. It’s a hard truth, but that’s the point. We shouldn’t be comfortable with that fact.
So I had mixed feelings when I read a recent study about a new method to detect harm at Adventist Health System in Altamonte Springs, Florida. Adventist integrated the IHI Global Trigger Tool harm definitions into a pilot hospital’s EHR, revealing nearly 2,700 instances of harm over an 11-month period. Two years before, the system found just 132 instances of harm in an 11-month retrospective review using a manual sampling method.
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