Leapfrog: Hospitals need to improve never event policies

Despite their name, never events — like wrong-site or wrong-patient surgery — still occur. When these events do occur, The Leapfrog Group believes hospitals should "respond responsibly." Unfortunately, the group contends that many hospitals still need to work on this area in a recently released report.

Leapfrog's standard for what hospitals should do in the case a never event occurs involves the following steps:

  • Apologize to the patient and/or the family
  • Report the event to an outside agency
  • Perform root-cause analysis
  • Waive costs directly related to the event
  • Make a copy of the policy available to patients

Even though the rate of compliance with this policy standard increased by 8.4 percent since 2010, the compliance rate for hospitals has sat at roughly 79 percent since 2012.

"Given the severity and tragedy of these errors, we would expect 100 percent of hospitals to put into place the straightforward elements of Leapfrog's policy," the report reads.

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