Quickie Quiz: What's Your Adverse Events Intelligence?

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , May 26, 2010

5. Environmental events are another worrisome category of hospital mishaps that cause death or serious disability to patients. Which of these sentences about environmental adverse events is true?

a) Falls were not the biggest cause of patient death due to an environmental event.
b) Use of restraints or bedrails commonly led to death or serious disability.
c) Death or serious disability associated with a burn acquired in the hospital occurred fewer than 10 times.
d) Electric shock caused by hospital equipment was among the most common causes of serious death or disability due to environmental mistakes.

6. Of all the instances that resulted in death or serious disability involving failure of a hospital to protect patients, most of them, 80%, involved a patient attempting or committing suicide. This statement is

a) True
b) False

7. What percentage of the 2,446 adverse events resulted in death or serious disability to a patient because of a medication error?

a) 2%
b) 25%
c) 50%
d) 70%

8. California divides adverse events into two categories in terms of urgency. In the first, the incident is so serious that a patient is put in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm. State officials are required to conduct an inspection of these more serious types of events within 48 hours of report. Of the 2,446 adverse events, how many fell into this urgent category?

a) 20%
b) 10%
c) 7%
d) 1%

9. There were how many infants discharged to the wrong person?

a) 0
b) 3
c) 10
d) 30

10. State health officials report a wide variety of surgical objects inadvertently left inside patients, – catheters, a denture, drill bits, electrodes, sponges, screws, tubing, tissue specimens, and wires – and are trying to find ways to prevent such incidents, which frequently require second surgeries to retrieve. What is California doing about the issue?

a) Requiring all foreign objects be coded in colors that contrast with human blood and tissue.
b) Requesting that $800,000 of the $5 million assessed hospitals in fines so far be spent on a study to find ways to prevent forgotten foreign surgical objects.
c) Requiring that each piece of material that could be inserted in a body cavity during surgery be equipped with a special tag detectable by electronic equipment at the surgical suite door, which would set off a signal if the patient leaves with a foreign object inside.
d) Setting up a website that publicly discloses each hospital's track record in number and type of retained foreign objects for consumers and payers to observe and compare.

Did you get stumped? Click here for the answers to find out how you scored.

I hope you learned something unexpected from this quiz, which I think may represent the largest database of its type in any state. I know that I did.

Note: You can sign up to receive HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly, a free weekly e-newsletter that provides news and information tailored to the specific needs of community hospitals.
Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.

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