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Serious safety events

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Keeping patients safe from harm

Patients expect their hospital, their physician and their caregivers to keep them safe while receiving healthcare. The reality is that situations can arise that could harm you.

Every hospital in the U.S. has experienced events that resulted in death or serious injury to patients. Even hospitals recognized as the best are not immune to serious safety incidents. Although we've made progress ensuring our hospitals are safe with a low serious safety event rate, we continue improving best practices to prevent incidents and to act swiftly should an event occur.

What is a serious safety event?

A serious safety event (SSE) is an incident that reaches the patient and causes moderate to severe harm or death as a result of a deviation from a generally-accepted performance standard of care. Many safety events involve human behaviors. At Novant Health, we address these behaviors with an approach to safety called Know 5ive. Save Lives. With this program in place, staff focuses on five key behaviors that can reduce our serious safety event rate by 80 percent or more. As Novant Health meets these goals, we will continue to lower our rate even more.

Key staff behaviors embodied in Know 5ive. Save Lives:
  • Practice with a questioning attitude
  • Communicate clearly
  • Know and comply with red rules
  • Self-check, focus on task
  • Support each other.