Variability of adverse events in the public health-care service of the Tuscany region

Sara Albolino, Riccardo Tartaglia, Tommaso Bellandi, Elisa Bianchini, Giancarlo Fabbro, Silvia Forni, Giulia Cernuschi, Annibale Biggeri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of the study is to analyze the variation of adverse events (AEs) according to the different structure of hospitals. The study is a multicenter, retrospective study. It involves 4 teaching hospitals (THs) and 32 community hospitals, distributed in 12 local trusts (LTs), of the Tuscany Regional Healthcare Service (RHS). A random sample of the clinical records of patients admitted in LTs and THs in 2008 was selected from the database of the hospital discharge records of the centers. Among 11,293 clinical records included, a total of 354 adverse events were identified. There was a significant higher incidence of AEs in the male and elderly (>65 years) population, and the incidence of AEs was more relevant in the THs (5.3, 95% CI 4.7–6.1) than in the LTs (1.8, 95% CI 1.5–2.2). AEs related to falls were significantly more preventable in THs (OR 19.22, 95% CI 2.45–151.02), while in LTs, AEs related to infections were the most preventable (OR 6.22, 95% CI 1.35–28.67). Concerning the consequence of AE, death is significantly more probable for AEs related to unexpected cardiac arrest in LTs, while disability and prolongation of the stay are significantly more probable consequences associated with re-admission in THs, and to transfer to ICU or HDU in LTs. Re-interventions, surgical complications and falls are the factors more correlated with AEs. In conclusion, the study shows a higher risk of incurring adverse events for the THs compared to the LTs, presumably connected with a major complexity of the clinical cases. Furthermore, the preventability of AEs is higher in the LTs (56.1 vs 42.2%), and this might be associated with lower expertise in managing complications in these settings. Concerning specialties, there are no significant differences in AEs distribution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInternal and Emergency Medicine
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jun 23 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Adverse events
  • Clinical risk
  • Clinical settings
  • Patient safety
  • Retrospective record review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine


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