• BMJ quality & safety · Apr 2020

    Multicenter Study Observational Study

    Study of a multisite prospective adverse event surveillance system.

    • Alan J Forster, Allen Huang, Todd C Lee, Alison Jennings, Omer Choudhri, and Chantal Backman.
    • Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada aforster@ohri.ca.
    • BMJ Qual Saf. 2020 Apr 1; 29 (4): 277-285.

    BackgroundWe have designed a prospective adverse event (AE) surveillance method. We performed this study to evaluate this method's performance in several hospitals simultaneously.ObjectivesTo compare AE rates obtained by prospective AE surveillance in different hospitals and to evaluate measurement factors explaining observed variation.MethodsWe conducted a multicentre prospective observational study. Prospective AE surveillance was implemented for 8 weeks on the general medicine wards of five hospitals. To determine if population factors may have influenced results, we performed mixed-effects logistic regression. To determine if surveillance factors may have influenced results, we reassigned observers to different hospitals midway through surveillance period and reallocated a random sample of events to different expert review teams.ResultsDuring 3560 patient days of observation of 1159 patient encounters, we identified 356 AEs (AE risk per encounter=22%). AE risk varied between hospitals ranging from 9.9% of encounters in Hospital D to 35.8% of encounters in Hospital A. AE types and severity were similar between hospitals-the most common types were related to clinical procedures (45%), hospital-acquired infections (21%) and medications (19%). Adjusting for age and comorbid status, we observed an association between hospital and AE risk. We observed variation in observer behaviour and moderate agreement between clinical reviewers, which could have influenced the observed rate difference.ConclusionThis study demonstrated that it is possible to implement prospective surveillance in different settings. Such surveillance appears to be better suited to evaluating hospital safety concerns within rather than between hospitals as we could not definitively rule out whether the observed variation in AE risk was due to population or surveillance factors.© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

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