Never Events in Healthcare

by Joanna Smith on Jul 29, 2012

Medicare has a list of “never events”—situations that are devastating, unambiguous and preventable in healthcare.  For a complete list, follow this link:  National Quality Forum Never Events.

I have created a new set of “never events’ from the Consumer’s viewpoint:

  1. I should never leave a doctor’s appointment without understanding what was said
  2. I should never say yes to a procedure I don’t understand.
  3. I should never feel a question is silly
  4. I should never be interrupted 15 seconds into my story
  5. I should never think I’m taking up too much of the doctor’s time
  6. I should never see that lack of insurance is shutting me out from needed, medically appropriate care.

In the Hospital:

  1. I should never see a provider walk to my bedside without washing his/her hands first, and I should not have to be the one to remind them to do so.
  2. I should never be asked to sign papers in a hurry without a family member or friend to review them;
  3. I should never be approached by a discharge planner I’ve never met on the morning I’m discharged;
  4. I should never feel that I’m taking up too much of the doctor’s time;
  5. I should never be surrounded by a team of students or providers without my permission;
  6. I should never have blood drawn without knowing why.
  7. I should never be sent home without a clear, verbal explanation of what my follow-up care will be.
  8. I should never be scared to go home.

These are some of the events healthcare advocates can help their clients avoid, and these are some of the ways to ensure good healthcare is being delivered to you and your family.



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