Utah Department of Administrative Services Division of Administrative Rules

Utah Administrative Code

The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).

NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since December 1, 2015, please see the codification segue page.

NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.

R380. Health, Administration.

Rule R380-200. Patient Safety Sentinel Event Reporting.

As in effect on December 1, 2015

Table of Contents

R380-200-1. Purpose and Authority.

(1) This rule establishes a patient safety sentinel event reporting program. It requires certain health care facilities to report serious patient injuries and to allow an independent, external review of and response to the thoroughness and credibility of the processes of investigating and responding to these events. The reporting under this rule will also help the Department and health care providers to understand patterns of failures in the health care system and to recommend statewide resolutions. It limits access to identifiable health information that facilities report to the Department under this rule.

(2) This rule is authorized by Utah Code Subsections 26-1-30(2)(a), (b), (d), (e), and (g) and Section 26-3-8.

R380-200-2. Definitions.

"Contaminated" means contamination that can be seen with the naked eye, or with use of detection mechanisms in general use, as they become reported or known to the health care facility.

"Facility" means a general acute hospital, critical access hospital, ambulatory surgical center, psychiatric hospital, orthopedic hospital, rehabilitation hospital, chemical dependency/substance abuse hospital or long-term acute care hospital as those terms are defined in Title 26, Chapter 21.

"Incident facility" means a facility where the patient safety sentinel event occurred.

"Medication Error" means medication administration:

(a) of a drug other than as prescribed or indicated;

(b) of a dose other than as prescribed or indicated;

(c) to a patient who was not prescribed the drug;

(d) at a time other than prescribed or indicated;

(e) at a rate other than as prescribed or indicated;

(f) of a improperly prepared drug;

(g) by a means other than as prescribed or indicated; and

(h) administration of a medication to which the patient has a known allergy or drug interaction to the prescribed medication.

"Major permanent loss of function" means sensory, motor, physiologic, or intellectual impairment not present on admission requiring continued treatment or life-style change. When major loss of function cannot be immediately determined, applicability of the policy is not established until either the patient is discharged with continued major loss of function, or two weeks have elapsed with persistent major loss of function, whichever occurs first.

"Patient safety sentinel event" means an event which has resulted in an unanticipated death or major permanent loss of function, not related to the natural course of the patient's illness or underlying condition or is an unexpected occurrence involving death or serious physical or psychological injury, or the risk thereof. Serious injury specifically includes loss of limb or function. The phrase "or the risk thereof" includes any process variation for which a recurrence would carry a significant chance of adverse outcome. Such events are called "sentinel" because they signal the need for immediate investigation and response.

"Root cause analysis" means a process for identifying the basic or causal factor(s) that underlie variation in performance, resulting in the occurrence or possible occurrence of a patient safety sentinel event.

R380-200-3. Reporting of Patient Safety Sentinel Events.

(1) Each facility shall report to the Department all patient safety sentinel events within seventy-two hours of the facility's determination that a patient safety event may have occurred, but in no event later than four hours prior to convening a formal root cause analysis.

(2) Patient safety sentinel events include:

(a) Surgical Events:

(i) Surgery performed on the wrong body part;

(ii) Surgery performed on the wrong patient;

(iii) Incorrect surgical procedure performed on a patient;

(iv) Retention of a foreign object in a patient after surgery or other procedure, except for:

(A) objects intentionally implanted as a part of a planned intervention;

(B) objects present prior to surgery that were intentionally left in place, and

(C) broken microneedles; and

(v) Intraoperative or immediately post-operative death of a patient who the facility classified prior to surgery as Anesthesia Surgical Assessment Class I. "Intraoperative" means literally during surgery. "Immediately post-operative" means within 24 hours after surgery, or other invasive procedure was completed, or after induction of anesthesia if surgery not completed.

(b) Product or Device Events.

(i) Patient death or disability arising from the use of contaminated drugs, devices, or biologics provided by the facility.

(ii) Patient death or disability associated with the use or function of a device in patient care in which the device is used for an off-label use, except where the off-label use is pursuant to informed consent.

(iii) Patient death or disability associated with intravascular air embolism that occurs while being cared for in the facility, except for intravascular air emboli associated with neurosurgical procedures.

(c) Patient Protection Events.

(i) Infant discharged to the wrong person;

(ii) Patient death or disability arising from a patient elopement or the disappearance of other than competent adults;

(iii) Patient suicide while in the facility or within 72 hours of discharge.

(d) Care management Events.

(i) Patient death or major permanent loss of function arising from a medication error;

(ii) Patient death or major permanent loss of function arising from a hemolytic reaction due to the administration of ABO/HLA incompatible blood or blood products;

(iii) Maternal death or major permanent loss of function in a low-risk pregnancy arising from labor or delivery while being cared for in a facility, except deaths from pulmonary or amniotic fluid embolism, acute fatty liver of pregnancy or cardiomyopathy. "Low Risk Pregnancy" refers to a woman aged 18-39, with no previous diagnosis of essential hypertension, renal disease, collagen-vascular disease, liver disease, cardiovascular disease, placenta previa, multiple gestation, intrauterine growth retardation, smoking, pregnancy-induced hypertension, premature rupture of membranes, or other previously documented condition that poses a high risk of poor pregnancy outcome.

(iv) Unanticipated death of a full-term newborn;

(v) Patient death or major permanent loss of function arising from hypoglycemia, the onset of hypoglycemia which occurs while the patient is being cared for in the facility;

(vi) Kernicterus associated with failure to identify and treat hyperbilirubinemia, bilirubin greater than 30 milligrams per deciliter, in neonates.

(vii) Stage 3 or 4 pressure ulcers acquired after admission to the facility, except for pressure ulcers that progress from stage 2 to stage 3, if the stage 2 ulcer was documented upon admission.

(viii) Patient death or major permanent loss of function due to spinal manipulative therapy; and

(ix) Prolonged fluoroscopy with cumulative dose greater than 1500 rads to a single field;

(x) Radiotherapy to the wrong body region;

(xi) Radiotherapy greater than 25% above the prescribed radiotheraphy dose; and

(xii) Death or major permanent loss of function related to a health care acquired infection.

(e) Environmental Events.

(i) Patient death or major permanent loss of function arising from an electric shock while being cared for at a health care facility, excluding emergency defibrillation in ventricular fibrillation and electroconvulsive therapies;

(ii) Any incident in which a line designated for oxygen or other gas to be delivered to a patient contains the wrong gas or is contaminated by a toxic substance;

(iii) Patient death or major permanent loss of function arising from a burn incurred from any source while being cared for in a facility;

(iv) Patient death or major permanent loss of function associated with the use of restraints or bedrails while being cared for in a facility; and

(v) Patient death or major permanent loss of function arising from a fall while being cared for in a health care facility, including fractures and intracranial hemorrhage.

(f) Criminal Events.

(i) Any care ordered by or provided by someone impersonating a physician, nurse, pharmacist, or other licensed or certified health care provider;

(ii) Abduction of a patient of any age;

(iii) Non-consensual sexual contact on a patient, staff member, or visitor by another patient, staff member or unknown perpetrator while on the premises of the facility; or

(iv) Patient death or major permanent loss of function resulting from a criminal assault or battery that occurs on the premises of the health care facility.

(3) If a facility suspects that a patient safety sentinel event may have occurred to a patient who was transferred from another facility, the receiving facility shall report the suspected patient safety sentinel event to the facility that initiated the transfer.

(4) The report shall be submitted in a Department-approved paper or electronic format and shall include at a minimum:

(a) facility information;

(b) patient information;

(c) event information

(d) type of occurrence;

(e) analysis;

(f) corrective action.

R380-200-4. Root Cause Analysis.

(1) The incident facility shall establish a root cause analysis process and designate a responsible individual to be the facility lead for each patient safety sentinel event.

(2) The Department representative may participate in the facility's root cause analysis in a consultative role with the facility lead to enhance the credibility and thoroughness of the root cause analysis. The Department shall notify the facility lead within 72 hours of receiving the report of the patient safety sentinel event if it intends to participate in the facility's root cause analysis. The Department representative shall not be present at the facility's internal root cause analysis meetings unless invited by the facility lead.

(3) Participation in the facility's root cause analysis by the Department representative shall not be construed to imply Department endorsement of the facility's final findings or action plan.

(4) The incident facility and the Department shall each make reasonable accommodations when necessary to allow for the Department representative's participation in the root cause analysis.

(5) If, during the review process, the Department representative discovers problems with the facility's processes that limit either the thoroughness or credibility of the findings or recommendations, the representative shall report these to the designated responsible individual orally within 24 hours of discovery and in writing within 72 hours.

(6) The facility shall conduct a root cause analysis which is timely, thorough and credible to determine whether reasonable system changes would likely prevent a patient safety sentinel event in similar circumstances.

(7) The root cause analysis shall:

(a) focus primarily on systems and processes, not individual performance;

(b) progress from specific, direct causes in clinical processes to contributing causes in organizational processes;

(c) seek to determine related and underlying causes for identified causes; and

(d) identify changes which could be made in systems and processes, either through redesign or development of new systems or processes, that would reduce the risk of such events occurring in the future.

(8) The Department shall determine the root cause analysis to be thorough if it:

(a) involves a complete review of the patient safety sentinel event including interviews with all readily identifiable witnesses and participants and a review of all related documentation;

(b) identifies the human and other factors in the chain of events leading to the final patient safety sentinel event, and the process and system limitations related to their occurrence;

(c) searches readily retrievable records to analyze the underlying systems and processes to determine where redesign might reduce risk;

(d) inquires into all areas appropriate to the specific type of event as described in the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations' "Root Cause Analysis Matrix, Minimum Scope of Root Cause Analysis for Specific Types of Sentinel Events - October 2005" found at http://www.jointcommission.org/NR/rdonlyres/3CB064AC-2CEB-4CBF-85B8-CFC9E7837323/0/se_root_cause_analysis_matrix.pdf, last viewed on February 22, 2007, which is incorporated by reference.

(e) makes reasonable attempts to identify and analyze trends of similar events which have occurred at the facility in the past;

(f) identifies risk points and their potential contributions to this type of event; and

(g) determines potential improvement in processes or systems that would tend to decrease the likelihood of such events in the future, or determining, after analysis, that no such improvement opportunities exist.

(9) The Department shall determine the root cause analysis to be credible if it:

(a) is led by someone with training in root cause analysis processes and who was not involved in the patient safety sentinel event;

(b) involves, if necessary, consultation with either internal or external experts in the processes in question who were not involved in the patient safety sentinel event;

(c) includes participation by the leadership of the organization and by the individuals most closely involved in the processes and systems under review;

(d) is internally consistent, i.e., not contradicting itself or leaving obvious questions unanswered;

(e) provides an explanation for all findings of "not applicable" or "no problem"; and

(f) includes consideration of relevant, available literature.

R380-200-5. Reports and Action Plan.

(1) Within 60 calendar days of determination of the patient safety sentinel event, the incident facility shall submit a final report with an action plan that:

(a) identifies changes that can be implemented to reduce risk, or formulates a rationale for not implementing changes; and

(b) where improvement actions are planned, identifies who is responsible for implementation, when the action will be implemented (including any pilot testing), and how the effectiveness of the actions will be evaluated.

(2) The incident facility shall provide a final report to the facility's administration and the Department in a Department-approved paper or electronic format that includes:

(a) type of harm;

(b) contributing factors;

(c) actions taken.

(3) If the Department representative identifies problems with the processes that limit the thoroughness or credibility of the findings and recommendations and that have not been corrected after reporting them to the designated responsible individual, the representative may submit a separate written dissenting report to the administrator of the incident facility, and the Department.

(4) The incident facility may seek review of the dissenting report by filing a request for agency as allowed by the Utah Administrative Procedures Act and Department rule. If a dissenting report is not challenged or is upheld on review:

(a) the facility shall include it in the facility's records of the root cause analysis; and

(b) the Department may forward it, together with the facility's report, to the appropriate state agencies responsible for licensing the facility.

R380-200-6. Confidentiality.

(1) Information that the Department holds under this rule is confidential under the provisions of Title 26, Chapter 3. Because of the public interest needs to foster health care systems improvements, the Department exercises its discretion under Section 26-3-8 and shall not release information collected under this rule to any person pursuant to the provisions of Subsections 26-3-7(1) or (8).

(2) Information produced or collected by a facility is confidential and privileged under the provisions of Title 26, Chapter 25.

R380-200-7. Extensions and Waivers.

(1) The Department may grant an extension of any time requirement of this rule if the facility demonstrates that the delay is due to factors beyond its control or that the delay will not adversely affect the required root cause analysis and the purposes of this rule. A facility requesting a waiver must submit the request to the department representative prior to the deadline for the required action.

(2) The Department may grant a waiver of any other provision of this rule if the facility demonstrates that the waiver will not adversely affect the required root cause analysis and the purposes of this rule.

R380-200-8. Advisory Panel.

The department shall establish a multi-disciplinary advisory panel to assist it in carrying out its responsibilities under this rule. Representatives from facilities that are required to report under this rule shall be included as members of the advisory panel.

R380-200-9. Penalties.

As required by Section 63G-3-201(5): An entity that violates any provision of this rule may be assessed a civil money penalty not to exceed the sum of $5,000 or be punished for violation of a class B misdemeanor for the first violation and for any subsequent similar violation within two years for violation of a class A misdemeanor as provided in Section 26-23-6.


hospital, sentinel event, quality improvement, patient safety

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment

April 26, 2007

Notice of Continuation

September 14, 2011

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law

26-1-30(2)(a); 26-1-30(2)(b); 26-1-30(2)(d); 26-1-30(2)(e); 26-1-30(2)(g); 26-3-8

Additional Information


For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R380, please contact the promulgating agency (Health, Administration). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.