Reporting Adverse Health Events

Patient Safety

Patient Safety

Reporting Adverse Health Events

Minnesota hospitals continue to lead the country in tackling medical errors and we hope other states will join us in similar efforts. HealthEast is proud that our four hospitals provide high quality, compassionate and safe care to thousands of patients each year.

HealthEast supports the Minnesota Adverse Health Events (AHE) Reporting Law. This law requires hospitals to report whenever they have one of the 28 serious adverse health events. These 28 events are identified by the National Quality Forum as situations that should never happen in a hospital and include errors like wrong-site surgery, retention of a foreign object in a patient after surgery, and death or serious disability associated with medication error.

The Adverse Health Event reporting system focuses on learning what went wrong, not whom to blame. By simply punishing a caregiver, problems will not be fixed and another patient may be harmed by the same high-risk process. The new system replaces a punitive regulatory process with a quality improvement initiative, one that supports learning from the people at the front lines on how we can make our health care system safer. 

The Minnesota Department of Health works with the Minnesota Hospital Association to produce an annual public report of the Adverse Health Events.

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Minnesota's Adverse Health Event reporting system shines a spotlight on areas where hospitals can work together to make care safer.

HealthEast hospitals support the goal of this process:

  • Encourage reporting of events
  • Share learnings among Minnesota hospitals
  • Focus on fixing problems

Keeping patients safe

HealthEast is committed to keeping patients safe.  The HealthEast Patient Safety Program supports the delivery of safe patient care, teaches our patients how to be active partners in their care, encourages our staff to report patient safety events, and promotes improvements in the delivery of care. 

Here are some examples of how we deliver safe care:  

  • For each surgery, our surgical team pauses for a final "Time Out" to make certain we are operating on the correct patient and side of the body, performing the correct procedure, and that we have the correct equipment ready.   
  • Every patient is assessed for risk of falling while staying with us in the hospital. If a patient is at risk for falling, our nurses and caregivers take extra steps to prevent a fall. We use yellow signs and wristbands to remind everyone to be alert. This helps avoid a possible fall.   
  • We have bar-coded medications at some of our hospitals, much like a bar-code on a product bought from the store. Our nurses use a hand-held scanner to scan a patient’s identification wristband and medication. This helps match the patient’s medication to the doctor’s orders. 

Making care safer together

HealthEast also partners with many local, state and national organizations to share and learn best safety practices. HealthEast has been nationally recognized for some of our patient safety practices, particularly in perinatal/maternity areas.     

  • HealthEast is actively involved with all of the Minnesota Hospital Association's Patient Safety Initiatives:
    • Safe Skin (prevention of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers)
    • Safe from Falls (prevention of patient falls)
    • Safe Site (prevention of wrong site surgeries and invasive procedures)
    • Safe Count (prevention of retained foreign objects after a patient gives birth)
    • Safe Account (prevention of retained foreign objects after surgery)
  • HealthEast is an active member in the Minnesota Alliance for Patient Safety (MAPS). As one of 50 participating organizations, HealthEast works collaboratively with other Minnesota health care providers to improve patient safety. 
  • HealthEast is dedicated to meeting all of the Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goals, such as improving caregiver communication, reducing the risk of health care-associated infections and correct patient identification.