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Adverse events in Public Dental Service in a Swedish county - A survey of reported cases over two years

Journal article
Authors L. Jonsson
Pia Gabre
Published in Swedish Dental Journal
Volume 38
Issue 3
Pages 151-160
ISSN 0347-9994
Publisher Swedish Dental Association
Publication year 2014
Published at Institute of Odontology
Pages 151-160
Language en
Keywords Adverse events, Patient and personnel characteristics, Patient safety, Record quality
Subject categories Other odontology, Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy


Adverse events cause suffering and increased costs in health care.The main way of registering adverse event is through dental personnel's reports, but reports from patients can also contribute to the knowledge of such occurrences. This study aimed to analyse the adverse events reported by dental personnel and patients in public dental service (PDS) in a Swedish county. The PDS has an electronic system for reporting and processing adverse events and, in addition, patients can report shortcomings, as regards to reception and treatment, to a patient committee orto an insurance company. The study material consisted of all adverse events reported in 2010 and 2011, including 273 events reported by dental personnel, 53 events reported by patients to the insurance company and 53 events reported by patients to the patient committee. Data concerning patients' age and gender, the nature, severity and cause of the event and the dental personnel's age gender and profession were collected and analysed. Furthermore the records describing the dental personnel's reports from 2011 were studied to investigate if the event had been documented and the patient informed. Age groups o to 9 and 20 to 39 years were underrepresented while those between the ages 10 to 19 and 60 to 69 years were overrepresented in dental personnel's reports. Amongyoung patients delayed diagnosis and therapy dominated and among patients over 20 years the most frequent reports dealt with inadequate treatments, especially endodontic treatments. In 29% of the events there was no documentation of the adverse event in the records and 49% of cases had no report about patient information.The majority of the reports from dental personnel were made by dentists (69%). Reporting adverse events can be seen as a reactive way of working with patient safety, but knowledge about frequencies and causes of incidents is the basis of proactive patient safety work.

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