'Global Trigger Tool' Identifies 10 Times More Errors

New tool identifies many more adverse events in hospital admissions compared to other methods

THURSDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Use of the new Global Trigger Tool, developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, detects at least 10 times more adverse events than other methods currently in use, according to a study published in the April issue of Health Affairs.

David C. Classen, M.D., from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and colleagues compared adverse events in 795 hospitalized adult patients using three methods in the same patient sample set in three hospitals. The methods included retrospective record review using the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Global Trigger Tool, the incident or event reporting system in place in each hospital, or screening using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Patient Safety Indicators. The detection of adverse events for each method was compared to the total number of adverse events detected by all methods combined.

The researchers found that 393 adverse events occurred in 33.2 percent of hospital admissions. The Global Trigger Tool detected 354 adverse events (90.1 percent); whereas, the local hospital reporting system detected four events (1 percent), and the Patient Safety Indicators detected 35 events (8.99 percent).

"Two methods commonly used by most care delivery organizations and supported by policy makers to measure the safety of care -- enhanced voluntary reporting systems and the use of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Patient Safety Indicators -- fail to detect more than 90 percent of the adverse events that occur among hospitalized patients," the authors write.

All authors disclosed financial relationships with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, which partially funded this study. Several of the study authors disclosed financial ties with medical information technology and biotechnology companies.

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