Harvard Business Review

Getting Rid of "Never Events" in Hospitals

By Timothy Morgenthaler and Charles M. Harper

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ARTICLE SUMMARY

Preventing the preventable, that is, eliminating “never events” in health care. Can we? Are we?

Learn how Mayo Clinic is looking beyond the mere incidence of “never events” to discover opportunities to make health care safer. They have utilized techniques from inside and outside the health care industry: lean engineering to simplify and standardize care, Crew Resource Management to improve teamwork, checklists to help teams focus and improve reliability, etc. Mayo shows how preventable mistakes can be prevented, making “do no harm” more than an aspiration.