Hospital “Never Events” Policies

One in Five U.S. Hospitals Fail to Adopt Crucial “Never Events” Policies

60% of Colorado Hospitals either do not have a policy or failed to report

“Never Events” are hospital incidents such as: objects left inside patients after surgery, deaths from medication errors, deaths or serious injuries from falls, and surgeries performed on the wrong parts of patients’ bodies.

In 2007 The Leapfrog Group  began asking hospitals bout their process for handling Never Events.  According to a new report released by Leapfrog this month, one in five U.S. hospitals still FAIL to adopt a Never Events policy and otherwise do not meet The Leapfrog Group’s standard for Never Events Management.  This Never Events report draws data from the 2015 Leapfrog Hospital Survey ( of 1,750 U.S. hospitals, representing 60% of the inpatient beds nationwide.   Most worrisome are the hospitals that Decline to Respond, the question is whether they have adopted a policy or not! How a hospital responds to a Never Event is a critical aspect of patient safety and transparency, and hospitals are accountable for the care patients receive during their stay.  Stated Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog “Unfortunately, many hospitals still won’t commit to doing the right thing, including apologizing to the patient or family and not charging for the event.  We should see 100% of hospitals with the Leapfrog policy.”

How did Colorado Hospitals fare?  Of 75 Colorado Hospitals, 41% do have a Never Event Policy in place, 6% do not have a policy and 53% declined to respond. Click “here” to view the Colorado Hospitals Never Event Report.