Department of Health

Maintaining Information on Adverse Patient Incidents at Hospitals and Clinics (Follow-Up Report)

If a patient in a hospital or a clinic dies or suffers an impairment of bodily functions in circumstances other than those related to the natural course of illness, disease or proper treatment, the hospital or clinic is required to report the event (which is labeled an “occurrence”) to the Department of Health. Information about the reported occurrences is maintained on the Department’s NYPORTS database. This database can be accessed by medical facilities, and the facilities are expected to use the information in internal efforts to improve patient care and reduce medical error.

In audit report 2003-S-27, we examined the completeness and security of the NYPORTS database and found that improvements were needed. For example, hospitals did not always report occurrences, and the information reported by clinics was not always entered on the database. We also identified long delays in the reporting of required information. Because of these various weaknesses, the NYPORTS database may not have been as useful as it could have been in helping to improve patient care and reduce medical error. When we followed up on these matters with Department officials, we found that they had made significant progress in implementing our audit recommendations.

For a complete copy of Report 2006-F-52 click here.
For a copy of the associated follow-up report click here.