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WHAT IS A MEDICAL “SENTINEL EVENT”

WHAT IS A MEDICAL “SENTINEL EVENT”

Courtesy: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

Terms in the Covid Virus Pandemic News

The Joint Commission suggests a Sentinel Event is any unanticipated occurrence in a healthcare setting resulting in death or serious physical or psychological injury to a patient or patients, not related to the natural course of the patient’s illness.

LINK: https://www.amazon.com/Dictionary-Health-Insurance-Managed-Care/dp/0826149944/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275315485&sr=1-4

Sentinel Events specifically include loss of a limb or gross motor function, and any event for which a recurrence would carry a risk of a serious adverse outcome. Sentinel events are identified to help aid in root cause analysis and to assist in development of preventive measures.

TJC tracks events in a database to ensure they are adequately analyzed and undesirable trends or decreases in performance are caught early and “mitigated”.

PODCAST: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Sentinel+Events+in+Hospitals&&view=detail&mid=8E346C4173EB23B5A2798E346C4173EB23B5A279&&FORM=VRDGAR&ru=%2Fvideos%2Fsearch%3Fq%3DSentinel%2BEvents%2Bin%2BHospitals%26FORM%3DVDMHRS

Deborah Leah Birx MD coordinator for the White House Corona Virus Task Force mentioned the term in the daily presidential briefings on the Covid-19 pandemic. And so, your thoughts and comments are appreciated.

Assessment: Your thoughts are appreciated.

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Goals of Medical Performance Improvement

Understanding Best Clinical Practices

By Brent A. Metfessel; MD, MSbiz-book

The major goals of medical performance improvement are twofold: First, for a particular practice pattern measure, the desire is to narrow the practice variation around the present health care mean. For instance, the spread of the distribution of a cost variance measure should decrease with process improvement.  Second, clinical guideline-based “best practices” can be utilized to move the entire provider population mean toward better cost-efficiency and quality.

Best-Practices

Although best-practices may be guideline-based, they should be adapted to local considerations and evaluated periodically through actual outcomes analysis. Such outcomes measures may include:

  • Cost-efficiency improvement, showing a decrease in resource utilization.
  • An increase in the performance of preventive measures, such as childhood immunizations and various screening tests such as breast and cervical cancer screening.  This may increase costs initially but will more than pay for itself through a decreased illness burden and cost in the future.
  • A decrease in episode length, usually implying a quicker resolution of symptoms.
  • A decrease in emergency room visits and unplanned hospital admissions.
  • A decrease in the rate of “sentinel events” such as status asthmaticus, hemorrhage during pregnancy, diabetic ketoacidosis, and ruptured appendix.

Many of these measures can be obtained using commonly available claims and administrative databases, although supplementation with clinical and functional status data will only increase the reliability and scope of outcomes analysis.

Assessment

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In order to see significant performance improvement in response to quality improvement initiatives, one must be patient.  Two to three years may be needed to see this improvement.  Trending of measures helps analysts to determine whether such improvement is occurring.  Trending of data, however, can be quite resource-intensive since there must be an adequate data set – usually requiring storage of data for several years of experience. 

Conclusion

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Defining Medical Sentinel-Events

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Shedding Light on Unexpected Occurrences

[By Staff Writers]lighthouse2

According to the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations [JCAHO]:

“A sentinel event is an unexpected occurrence involving death or serious physical or psychological injury, or the risk thereof.  Serious injury specifically includes loss of limb or function. The phrase, “or the risk thereof” includes any process variation for which a recurrence would carry a significant chance of a serious adverse outcome. Such events are called “sentinel” because they signal the need for immediate investigation and response.”

About The Joint Commission

The Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations is an independent, not-for-profit organization. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.

Mission 

In support of its mission to improve the quality of health care provided to the public, the Joint Commission includes the review of organizations’ activities in response to sentinel events in its accreditation process, including all full accreditation surveys and random unannounced surveys.

Sentinel Event Glossary of Terms

Link: http://www.jointcommission.org/SentinelEvents/se_glossary.htm

Assessment

Of course, there are other accrediting organizations besides the JCAHO. These include DNV Healthcare Inc., a division of the Norwegian company Det Norske Veritas [DNV]. DNV has recently been charged with immediately determining if hospitals are in compliance with the Medicare Conditions of Participation [COP]. The company’s authority to accredit hospitals runs through September 26, 2012. DNV joins the American Osteopathic Association [AOA] as the only other national hospital accrediting agency approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services [CMS].

Conclusion

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