The Joint Commission released its report on the top sentinel events of 2018 and, unsurprisingly, patient falls and “unintended retention of a foreign body” took the top spot for another year. According to the Joint Commission, a sentinel event is “an unexpected event in a healthcare setting that results in death or serious injury to a patient.” While the overall number of sentinel events has declined in the last decade, some hospitals have seen a sharp increase.
Overall, these are the top ten sentinel events recorded in 2018 followed by the number of events self-reported to The Joint Commission:
- Falls (111)
- Unintended retention of a foreign body (111)
- Wrong-site surgery (94)
- Unassigned (68)
- Other unanticipated event (59)
- Suicide (50)
- Delay in treatment (43)
- Product or device events (29)
- Criminal event (28)
- Medication error (24)
According to report, less than 2 percent of sentinel events in the country are reported to The Joint Commission. Therefore, the data represents a self-reported sample and the number of these events is undoubtedly much higher across the country.