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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


DIAS, Monica Aguilar Estevam; MARTINS, Monica  and  NAVARRO, Nair. Adverse outcome screening in hospitalizations of the Brazilian Unified Health System. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2012, vol.46, n.4, pp.719-729.  Epub July 24, 2012. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the frequency of screening for potential adverse outcomes in hospitalizations of the Brazilian Unified Health System. METHODS: A retrospective study, including all hospital admissions of adults in medical clinics (n = 3,565,811) and surgical clinics (n = 2,614,048) in Brazil in 2007. The Hospital Information System was used as a source of information. The measurement of adverse events was based on screening for eleven clinical conditions, as defined by previous international studies, recorded in the secondary diagnosis field. We performed bivariate and multivariate analysis to investigate associations between adverse events, death (dependent variable) and other variables such as age, use of the intensive care unit and performance of surgery. RESULTS: The frequency obtained for both clinic types was 3.6 potential adverse events per 1,000 admissions, with a greater frequency in medical clinics (5.3 per 1,000) than in surgery clinics (1.3 per 1,000). There were differences in the profile of hospital admissions between the two clinics: medical clinics were characterized by a predominance of older adults, longer average length of stay, higher mortality rate and lower total cost of hospitalization. The most common potential adverse outcome was hospital-acquired pneumonia. Cardiac arrest had a higher risk of death (OR= 5.76) compared to other potential adverse outcomes. Increased cost for hospitalizations was associated with sepsis. The conditions used as the screening criteria were associated with greater odds of death even after the introduction of variables such as use of intensive care and surgery. CONCLUSIONS: The high frequency of adverse outcomes in hospital admissions indicates a need to develop monitoring strategies and to improve quality of care for improved patient safety.

Keywords : Hospital Care; Quality of Health Care; Outcome Assessment (Health Care); Hospital Mortality; Unified Health System; Patient Safety; Clinical Medicine.

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