A new approach to tracking the harmfulness of medical errors in health care systems

Alok Madan, Deza Borckardt, Jeffrey J. Borckardt, Joan Herbert, Harriet Cooney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A variety of approaches are available to monitor and quantify the frequency of medical errors and the harm associated with them. The University HealthSystem Consortium Patient Safety Net provides a categorical, rank-ordered approach for designating harm associated with medical errors but does not lend itself to routine monitoring of change over time. A brief questionnaire was developed and given to hospital administrators to collect ratings about the harmfulness of events occurring in each of the 10 University HealthSystem Consortium harm-score categories. Results revealed a high degree of agreement among raters for harmfulness ratings for each category. A cubic model fit the data best and provided weights for each of the harm-score categories. This preliminary study proposes a methodology for quantifying harm scores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-303
Number of pages6
JournalQuality Management in Health Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • harm medical error tracking
  • safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Care Planning


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