Analysis of Risk Factors for Patient Safety Events Occurring in the Emergency Department

Mohamed Alsabri, Zoubir Boudi, Taoufik Zoubeidi, Ibrahim Abdalla Alfaki, Phillip Levy, Churchill Oneyji, Liu Shan, Carlos A. Camargo, Philippe Michel, Karim Tazarourte, Said Hachimi-Idrissi, Shamai Grossman, Abdelouahab Bellou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The aim of the study was to describe and analyze the risk factors associated with patient safety events (PSEs), defined as adverse events (AEs), preventable AEs (PAEs), and near-miss events (NMEs), in the emergency department (ED). Methods: It was a retrospective cohort study using ED patients' data retrieved from January 2010 to December 2016. Quality assurance issues (QAIs) used as triggers included the following: issues during procedural sedation, death within 24 hours of admission, patients' and physicians' complaints, returns to the ED within 72 hours, and transfers to an intensive care unit within 24 hours. Results: Of 383,586 ED visits, 6519 (1.7%) QAIs were reported with a PSEs incidence of 6.1%. Among the 397 PSEs, 258 were AEs including 82 PAEs, and 139 NMEs. During the 7-year period, we observed a fourfold increase in NMEs, and despite a decrease in the rate of AEs with the highest (3.1%) and lowest (0.8%) incidence in 2011 and 2016, respectively, the incidence of PAEs events remained relatively constant. Unadjusted analysis showed that ED waiting time, boarding time, ED length of stay (LOS), ED disposition, as well as diagnostic and QAIs were significantly related to PSEs (P < 0.05). Multivariable analysis showed that the type of QAIs and diagnostic were associated with PSEs (P < 0.001). Type of QAIs was a risk factor for AEs and PAEs occurrence and factors involved in NMEs were type of QAIs (P = 0.02) and ED LOS (P < 0.001). “The odds of a PSE occurring increased by 0.2% for each additional minute increase in the ED waiting time, by 5.2% for each additional boarding hour, and by 4.5% for each ED LOS hour.” Conclusions: This study showed several potential risk factors for PSEs, especially ED LOS, type of QAIs, and diagnostic. Systematic interventions might have more impact on risk of PSE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E124-E135
JournalJournal of Patient Safety
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Adverse events
  • Emergency department
  • Near-miss events
  • Patient safety
  • Preventable adverse events
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis of Risk Factors for Patient Safety Events Occurring in the Emergency Department'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this