Table 2

Harvard Medical Practice Study categories for classifying etiology of adverse events and medical errors, with three added categories for patient factors.

Code

Type of Error

Description


1

Diagnostic

Error in diagnosis or delay in diagnosis

2

Diagnostic

Failure to employ an indicated test

3

Diagnostic

Use of outmoded tests or therapy

4

Diagnostic

Failure to act on the results of monitoring or testing

5

Treatment

Technical error in performance of an operation, procedure, or test

6

Treatment

Error in administering the treatment (including preparation for operation or treatment)

7

Treatment

Error in dose of drug or in the method of use of a drug

8

Treatment

Avoidable delay in treatment or in responding to an abnormal test

9

Treatment

Inappropriate (not indicated) care. Considering the patient's disease, its severity, and comorbidity, the anticipated benefit from the treatment did not significantly exceed the known risk, or a superior alternative was available

10

Preventive

Failure to provide indicated prophylactic treatment

11

Preventive'

Inadequate monitoring or follow-up of treatment

12

System

Failure in communication

13

System

Equipment failure

14

System

Other systems failure

15

Other

Unclassified

*16

No error

Patient disease, expected risk

*17

No error

Patient non-compliance

*18

No error

Patient disease, unrelated to spinal surgery


*Additional three categories not included in the Harvard Medical Practice Study. We group these as "no error" simply to distinguish them from the evaluation and treatment associated factors under direct control of the medical care system. Alternatively, these three factors may be considered errors in patient selection.

Mirza et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2006 7:53   doi:10.1186/1471-2474-7-53

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