Developing a patient safety surveillance system to identify adverse events in the intensive care unit

Crit Care Med. 2010 Jun;38(6 Suppl):S117-25. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0b013e3181dde2d9.


Aggregation of adverse drug event data has evolved in the last decade. Several approaches are available to augment the standard voluntary incident reporting system. Most of these methods are applicable to nonmedication adverse events as well. To identify appropriately system trends as well as process failures, intensive care units should participate in various collection methods. Several different methods are available for robust adverse drug event data collection, such as target chart review, nontargeted chart review, and direct observation. As the various methods usually capture different types of events, employing more than one technique will improve the assessment of intensive care unit care. Some of these surveillance methods offer real-time or near real-time identification of adverse drug events and potentially afford the practitioner time for intervention. Continued development of adverse drug event detection will allow for further quality improvement efforts and preventive strategies to be utilized.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Health Care Surveys / methods*
  • Hospital Information Systems
  • Humans
  • Information Storage and Retrieval / methods
  • Intensive Care Units / organization & administration*
  • Medical Records
  • Medication Errors / prevention & control*
  • Patient Discharge
  • Risk Management / methods
  • Safety Management / methods*
  • United States