Objectives To quantify the prevalence and nature of adverse events in acute Irish hospitals in 2015 and to assess the impact of the National Clinical Programmes and the National Clinical Guidelines on the prevalence of adverse events by comparing these results with the previously published data from 2009.
Design and methods A retrospective chart review of 1605 admissions to eight Irish hospitals in 2015, using identical methods to those used in 2009.
Results The percentage of admissions associated with one or more adverse events was unchanged (p=0.48) at 14% (95% CI=10.4% to 18.4%) in 2015 compared with 12.2% (95% CI=9.5% to 15.5%) in 2009. Similarly, the prevalence of preventable adverse events was unchanged (p=0.3) at 7.4% (95% CI=5.3% to 10.5%) in 2015 compared with 9.1% (95% CI=6.9% to 11.9%) in 2009. The incidence densities of preventable adverse events were 5.6 adverse events per 100 admissions (95% CI=3.4 to 8.0) in 2015 and 7.7 adverse events per 100 admissions (95% CI=5.8 to 9.6) in 2009 (p=0.23). However, the percentage of preventable adverse events due to hospital-associated infections decreased to 22.2% (95% CI=15.2% to 31.1%) in 2015 from 33.1% (95% CI=25.6% to 41.6%) in 2009 (p=0.01).
Conclusion Adverse event rates remained stable between 2009 and 2015. The percentage of preventable adverse events related to hospital-associated infection decreased, which may represent a positive impact of the related national programmes and guidelines.
- adverse events
- epidemiology and detection
- healthcare quality improvement
- patient safety
- quality improvement
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Contributors WC: project management, data collection, analysis, interpretation of the data and drafting the manuscript. NR: staff training, study design, data collection, analysis and interpretation of the data and critical revision of the drafted manuscript. DJW and AH: design, review, analysis and interpretation of the data and critical revision of the drafted manuscript. RMC: design and data analysis and interpretation. CS: design, project management and critical revision of the drafted manuscript.
Funding Funding for the project was received via the Applied Partnership Awards (APA-2016-1877) from the Health Research Board (HRB) and the HSE.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval Ethical approval for INAES-2 was received from the ethics committees of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (REC 1421) and the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland (RECSAF 04-2). A consent declaration was obtained from the Health Research Consent Declaration Committee in Ireland (AF3-19-001), which allowed data collection without obtaining explicit consent from each patient before we irrevocably anonymised data.
Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request.
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