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What Is an ‘Always Event’?

Barbara Balik, RN; IHI Senior Faculty, Common Fire Healthcare Consulting

Have trouble viewing this video? Read the transcript.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this activity, you will be able to:
  • List the four criteria of an Always Event.
  • Explain how to identify what’s most important to patients and families.
  • Describe the origin of the term “Always Event” and how its application is evolving.

Description: Maybe you’ve heard of a “Never Event” — things like wrong-site surgeries that should never occur in health care. But what are the things that should always occur?

In this video, Barbara Balik explains “Always Events,” a concept pioneered by the Picker Institute to capture the experiences that are so important to patients and families that they should always be part of care.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Did any of the “Always Events” surprise you? Why?
  2. Can you think of any other experiences that could be considered “Always Events” according to the criteria Barbara listed?
  3. What do you think is most important to your patients, and how do you try to respond to that?
  4. What factors do you think make it easier to ensure “Always Events” always occur? What might stand in the way?
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