Reporting medical errors

It is difficult to estimate the exact number of medical errors in the Kingdom. Nonetheless, we acknowledge that these incidents present a problem and need to be addressed.
The problem of medical errors is not limited to Saudi Arabia or the GCC region.  In-fact it is a problem in every country in the world. Many medical errors are never reported by healthcare professionals due to fear of punishment, they could be concealed by patients and their families, perhaps feeling that reporting would be pointless.  As long as there is no system established to report and address medical errors, these circumstances will not improve. The Central Board for Accreditation of Healthcare Institutions is now instituting a system by which they will receive and study cases of serious medical errors at accredited institutions and other serious medical errors and serious incidents that must be reported. The Ministry of Health specified the following events to be reported:- 

- Wrong diagnosis or treatment for the wrong patient;
- Perform a surgery at the wrong place;
- Serious damage resulting from blood transfusion;
- Suicide case at the admission section;
- Forgetting surgical tools and towels;
- Prescribing wrong medication that causes death or serious complications;
- Giving a newborn to the wrong parents;
- Kidnapping a newborn;
- Death of pregnant ladies;
- Unexpected death;
- Unexpected loss of a limb or function of an organ;
- PE of a blood vessel.

As of January 2016, CBAHI accredited hospitals must report all serious accidents by filling and submitting the serious accident reporting form on CBAHI website within 5 working days from the internal notice of the serious accident (the date on which hospital management is notified of the accident). This must be followed by Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and a work plan to eliminate risks within 30 days from the date of serious accident notice. The RCA is an official process of investigations aimed at identifying the root causes of negative adverse events.

To report a serious medical error, please click here.

For more information about the benefits of reporting medical errors, please click here.

To review 20 tips for preventing medical errors, click here.

To review the Central Board’s policy for serious medical errors, click here.