Adverse events in hospitals remain highly prevalent to this day. From 2008 to 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services conducted a series of studies pertaining to hospital adverse events, which are injurious outcomes from medical care. A Congressionally mandated study was part of this work that sought to identify a national incidence rate for adverse events in hospitals. Researchers developed methods to determine adverse events, as well as the extent to which events are preventable, and measure the cost of events in accordance with the Medicare program. A recent study that is part of that work evaluated post-acute care provided in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). SNF post-acute care aims to help its patients enhance their health and functioning after a hospitalization and is second only to hospital care among inpatient expenses to Medicare. Not much is known about resident safety in SNFs.
This study approximates the national incidence rate, preventability, and expense of adverse events that occur in SNFs by using a two-stage medical record review to pinpoint events for a sample of 653 Medicare beneficiaries discharged from hospitals to SNFs for post-acute care.