Adverse Event Information

“Adverse events” are serious medical or care-taking errors that could have been avoided. They range from providing the wrong surgical procedure to the much more common (but still avoidable) patient falls and bedsores.

Through WSHA’s patient safety program, and in cooperation with WSMA and other specialty groups, hospitals are constantly working to ensure that these “never” events truly never happen.

Adverse Drug Events is an example of the approach we have taken to eliminate adverse events in hospitals.

For more information about the patient safety program, contact Carol Wagner.


Adverse Events Reporting and Billing

Hospitals are dedicated to providing safe care, but when something goes wrong, it is important that the mistake is admitted and reported. It’s also important that the patient and their insurer not be charged for care related to the event.

Reporting: Hospitals in Washington State report adverse events to the Washington State Department of Health. Information about these events is published by the department on a quarterly basis.

Reports can be viewed on the Department of Health’s website.

Billing: In 2007, the Boards of Trustees of the Washington State Hospital Association, Washington State Medical Association, and the Washington Ambulatory Surgery Center Association each adopted a policy to ensure that no patient (or payer) will pay for care related to an adverse event.

Each hospital was encouraged to adopt their own adverse-event policy.

  • Click here to see the 2007 Board of Trustees resolution (PDF)
  • Click here to download a model hospital policy on not billing for adverse events (Word)

 For more information about policy issues related to adverse events, contact Claudia Sanders


Claudia Sanders