Adverse Events

Adverse Health Events and Incident Reporting System

Adverse events are medical errors that healthcare facilities could and should have avoided. The National Quality Forum (NQF) defines these errors, which are also called serious reportable events. There are 29 adverse events listed as reportable errors. The events may result in patient death or serious disability. The department manages aggregate data on adverse events and posts quarterly reports on this website.

Washington State law (chapter 70.56 RCW) requires healthcare facilities to report to the Department of Health whenever they confirm an adverse event. Facilities required to report are: hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, child birthing centers, Department of Corrections medical facilities and ambulatory surgical facilities according to chapter 246-302 WAC. If an event occurs at a facility other than the required reporting types, this does not mean the incident at your facility is not reportable. It may be required under another governing body and you are responsible for compliance.

How to report adverse events

Determine if an incident meets the adverse events definition. Learn the process and resources for reporting an adverse event.

Facility check-in survey

The Department of Health implemented a quarterly check-in survey for facilities that don't have an adverse event to report. Facility staff members are asked to notify the department each calendar quarter, or every three months as to whether or not they had an adverse event.

Adverse events quarterly reports

We generate adverse events reports on a quarterly basis. These reports represent aggregate information and are posted within 90 days after the reporting quarter.

Adverse event program forms

Adverse event notification, event change and contextual information forms.

Frequently asked questions
Resources and additional information

Additional resources and information about adverse events reporting.

Contact and Connect

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