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Adverse Events Trigger Tools

Since 2008, the OIG Office of Evaluation and Inspections has conducted a series of studies regarding adverse events, defined as patient harm resulting from medical care. The resulting reports describe the incidence, types, and harm level of adverse events found in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), and rehabilitation hospitals. The reports can be found on the OIG website. View a summary of the work in hospitals, the report about SNFs, and the report about rehabilitation hospitals.

A key component of OEI's study methodologies is a "trigger tool" worksheet that guides clinicians to identify potential adverse events in medical records. Providers may benefit from using the worksheet to identify adverse events in medical records at their own facilities, learning from the events to prevent recurrence, and encouraging compliance with quality standards. Below are links to the trigger tool worksheets OIG used for hospitals, SNFs, and rehabilitation hospitals, and guidance documents for using the hospital and SNF trigger tools published by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). The related OIG reports are linked within each trigger tool worksheet and contain information about how OIG used them to identify adverse events.

Trigger Tool Worksheets

IHI Guidance Documents

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