February 23, 2022

The Joint Commission releases 10 most common sentinel events of 2021

Editor's Note

The Joint Commission recently released a Sentinel Event Data summary that includes a 2021 update and the 10 most common sentinel events reported to the accreditation body last year, the February 22 Becker’s Hospital Review reports.

Only a small portion of all sentinel events are reported to The Joint Commission, the organization said. Therefore, no conclusions about the events' frequency or long-term trends should be drawn from the data presented.

Incidents involving falls topped the list, with 485 reported events. Delays in treatment and unintended retention of a foreign object were next, with 97 reported events each. Wrong surgical site incidents were reported 85 times.

According to Becker’s, the number of “serious patient safety incidents” reported to The Joint Commission in 2021 was the highest seen since the accrediting body started tracking them in 2005, at 1,197 reports of sentinel events. In 2020, 809 events were reported.


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