The use of "triggers," or clues, to identify adverse events (AEs) is an effective method for measuring the overall level of harm from medical care in a health care organization. Traditional efforts to detect AEs have focused on voluntary reporting and tracking of errors. However, public health researchers have established that only 10 to 20 percent of errors are ever reported and, of those, 90 to 95 percent cause no harm to patients. Hospitals need a more effective way to identify events that do cause harm to patients, in order to select and test changes to reduce harm.
Trigger Tools provide an easy-to-use method for accurately identifying AEs (harm) and measuring the rate of AEs over time. Tracking AEs over time is a useful way to tell if changes being made are improving the safety of the care processes.
Introduction to Trigger Tools for Measuring Adverse Events