What is the term that is used to describe a healthcare related incident or accident that may have possibly led to client harm?

  • A

    An adverse event

  • B

    A root cause

  • C

    A healthcare acquired event

  • D

    A sentinel event

Correct Response: D

A sentinel event is an event or occurrence, incident or accident that has led to or may have possibly led to client harm. Even near misses, that have the potential for harm, are considered sentinel events because they have the potential to cause harm in the future.

An adverse event, like an adverse effect of a medication, has actually led to an adverse response; it is not a near miss. A root cause is a factor that has led to a sentinel event; and there is no such thing as a healthcare acquired event.