Accreditation

Joint Commission updates sentinel event statistics

Accreditation Connection, December 8, 2010

The Joint Commission has updated its website with its latest sentinel event statistics. As of September 30, 2010, the sentinel event database has record of 7,147 sentinel events reviewed by The Joint Commission since its implementation in January 2005. All events were voluntarily reported by Joint Commission accredited organizations, and represent only a small proportion of actual events.

According to the organization’s statistics, the top ten sentinel events submitted to The Joint Commission over the past 15.5 years are:

  1. Wrong-site surgery: 956
  2. Suicide: 832
  3. Operative/post-operative complication: 775
  4. Delay in treatment: 611
  5. Medication error: 563
  6. Patient fall: 461
  7. Unintended retention of foreign body: 421
  8. Assault, rape, or homicide: 270
  9. Perinatal death or loss of function: 229
  10. Patient death or injury in restraints: 204

A total of 7,288 patients were affected by these events, with 4,844 resulting in patient death.

For more on these statistics, visit The Joint Commission's Web site.

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