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Trigger Tools: Identifying Adverse Events

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Increasingly, the use of ‘triggers’ or clues to identify adverse events is found to be an effective method for measuring the overall level of harm from medical care in a health care organisation.

Traditional efforts to detect adverse events focus on voluntary reporting and tracking of errors. However, we know that a very low proportion of errors are ever reported. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) therefore developed another more effective way to identify events that do cause harm to patients; trigger tools.

There are various trigger tools available on IHI.org. These provide an easy-to-use method for accurately identifying harm and measuring the rate of adverse events over time.

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