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    Health services must report the most serious cases of patient harm and death caused by adverse patient safety events, and make sure they’re properly reviewed. SCV also follows up with health services to check they’ve acted to help prevent further harm.


    Access the portal

    Find out about preparing for a review

    What do you have to report?

    You must report adverse patient safety events that result in serious harm or death of a patient while in the care of a health service. Serious harm is considered to have occurred when, as a result of the incident, the patient has:

    • needed life-saving surgical or medical intervention
    • a shortened life expectancy
    • experienced permanent or long-term physical harm, or permanent or long-term loss of function.

    See a full list of what you need to report.

    Who needs to report?

    All public and private health services, and all services under their governance structures must report sentinel events. Examples of health services include:

    • Ambulance Victoria
    • bush nursing centres
    • first aid services
    • Forensicare (Thomas Embling Hospital)
    • non-emergency patient transport
    • public sector residential aged care facilities
    • hospital-in-the-home services
    • private day surgery facilities.

    Unsure if you need to report?

    Read the list of sentinel event categories or email our patient safety review team

    Report a sentinel event

    Follow our five-step process to report and review a sentinel event, and implement your recommendations.

    If the adverse event doesn't classify as a sentinel event, we recommend you still undertake a review. Read our guide on reviewing adverse events that aren’t sentinel events

    Why reporting sentinel events is important

    Watch this interview with Alfred Health's Rural Urgent Care Nursing Capability Development Program, where SCV's Joanne Miller talks about the importance of reporting and learning from sentinel events.

    What do we do with this information?

    Every sentinel event is an opportunity to learn and get better – not just at an individual health service, but across the healthcare system. 

    We share those lessons through the Sentinel events annual report.

    Get in touch

    Sentinel event program
    Safer Care Victoria
    1300 543 916
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