Adverse events (previously known as serious and sentinel events) are events which have generally resulted in harm to patients.
An adverse event is one which has led to significant additional treatment, is life threatening or has led to an unexpected death or major loss of function.
District health board (DHB) providers are required to review these events and report them to the Health Quality & Safety Commission. The national reportable event policy includes a standardised form, known as a reportable event brief, which is used as a basis for reporting events and advising the Commission of the outcome of the review.
Adverse event reports now include incidents that have taken place outside DHB hospitals. This is an important step towards integrating the wider health and disability sector into the Commission's programme to prevent harm and learn from adverse events.
The Commission is required to produce a report on adverse events each year, based on information provided by DHBs. Links to these reports are available below.