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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 from harm 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 those hospitals recognized as the best are not immune to serious safety events. Although we've made progress during the past several years to make our hospitals safer and have a low serious safety event rate, we are constantly working to ensure the safety of our patients if an event ever occurs.

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 beyond that 80 percent.


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.
We want to hear from you

If you would like to know more about patient safety and serious safety events, please use our contact form to let us know. Novant Health is bringing you world-class technology, clinicians, and care – when and where you need it.