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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

Print version ISSN 1415-790XOn-line version ISSN 1980-5497

Abstract

MENDES, Walter; TRAVASSOS, Cláudia; MARTINS, Mônica  and  NORONHA, José Carvalho de. Review of studies on the assessment of adverse events in hospitals. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2005, vol.8, n.4, pp.393-406. ISSN 1415-790X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-790X2005000400008.

OBJECTIVE: To review studies on Adverse Events in hospitals, with a focus on methodologies and study results. METHODOLOGY: Systematic review of the scientific literature on the assessment of adverse events in hospitals. This review only included studies that applied the method of retrospective chart review in the assessment of adverse events. The review focused on the definition of adverse events and avoidable adverse event chart review methods; evaluation criteria and categories of analysis: specialty, clinical area, time and place of the event, severity and degree of incapacity. RESULTS: Nine studies from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, France, England, Denmark and Canada reviewed 92,063 medical records. Initial studies were based on a medical and legal approach and evolved to a continuing quality improvement strategy. In the latter, adverse event is defined as an unintended injury resulting in temporary or permanent disability and/or prolonged length of stay as a consequence of health care management. The incidence of adverse events varied from 2.9 to 16.6 per 100 in patients in the studies reviewed. CONCLUSION: Despite differences in the criteria and results of the studies reviewed in this paper, all of them were directed at measuring a phenomenon whose magnitude is still unknown in our country.

Keywords : Adverse events; Evaluation of health services; Quality in health care; Patient security; Medical error.

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