Objectives: Accreditation of US dental schools requires a formal system of quality assessment of clinical adverse events (AE). There is no universal system to collect, record, interpret, or release findings or trends pertaining to AEs. The objective of this study was to compare similarities and differences among the AE reporting forms used at US dental schools.
Methods: Sixteen (24%) dental schools responded to a query to provide copies of their AE forms. The forms were analyzed to identify unique AE items. A total of 69 unique AE items were identified, grouped, and ranked according to frequency. Methods of AE data collection were also noted.
Results: The forms were different in organization, form, and content. The 69 AE items represented a wide variety of information, with no standardization of the type of information, how it was collected, or by whom. We identified 9 most requested AE items and 4 least requested AE items. The schools differed in how the information was obtained: 2 schools used a menu, 8 schools used free response, and 6 schools used a hybrid of both methods.
Conclusions: We found that dental school clinic AE reporting forms are not standardized in structure, organization, or content. We conclude that a hybrid form containing both guided responses and free responses would ensure that proper information is being reported to fully understand why/how an AE occurred. In addition, dental schools need to develop a standardized method of collecting and assessing AE data which will allow for quality improvement and increased patient safety.
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