The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Inspector General published two Adverse Events Toolkits on July 6 to assist health care providers, government agencies and researchers identify and measure adverse events in hospitals or other inpatient settings. The toolkits are:

  • Adverse Events Toolkit: Medical Record Review Methodology – explains the OIG methodology, OIG’s definition of patient harm, and how OIG categorizes events by severity and preventability. It also includes tips on overcoming common challenges (i.e., complex cases) and quality assurance.
  • Adverse Events Toolkit: Clinical Guidance for Identifying Harm – compendium of guidance used by OIG to assess care associated with 29 specific conditions and injuries. Discussion includes how OIG determined if the condition was a result of harm and whether it could have been prevented. Also included is information on the hospital trigger tool OIG reviewers use to screen for adverse events and suggestions for finding and recording key information.

The toolkits can be accessed on the HHS website.

Harris Beach’s Health Care attorneys track developments throughout the industry. Should you need anything else on this topic or if you have a matter you wish to pursue with NYSDOH or OIG, please reach out to Matthew Babcock at to discuss an engagement.

This alert is not a substitute for advice of counsel on specific legal issues.

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