According to Massachusetts General Law, chapter 305 of the Acts of 2008, hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers must report Serious Reportable Events (SREs) to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). An SRE is:
- An event that results in an adverse outcome for a patient, such as a doctor performing the wrong procedure
- Identifiable and measurable
- Influenced by the policies and procedures of the health care facility it happened in
The law prohibits hospitals from charging for these events or seeking reimbursement for SRE-related services. The Department has defined SREs to meet the National Quality Forum's definitions of 28 such events.
About the data
SREs are grouped into the following types:
- Surgical or invasive procedure events, such as incorrect surgeries or wrong patient
- Product or device events, such as death or serious injury caused by contaminated drugs or devices
- Patient protection events, such as patients being discharged to an unauthorized person
- Care management events, such as death or serious injury caused by a medication error
- Environmental events, such as incidents associated with restraints or bedrails
- Radiologic events, such as incidents caused by a metallic object in an MRI area
- Potential criminal events, such as patient abuse by a staff member
Health care facilities report SRE data to patients, families, and the Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality (BHCSQ) within 7 days of an incident. The health care facility must then submit an updated report within 30 days, including documentation about the root cause and a determination of if the incident was preventable. The data below are organized by year beginning in 2014.