There are few words that strike fear in the hearts of hospital administrators faster than “never event.” One reason for this is that in addition to leaving the doctor, nurse and facility involved wide open to litigation, many of these never events are not reimbursable by Medicare and Medicaid.
That can be devastating to a hospital’s bottom line, as well as to the patient and their loved ones. But if you were the nurse involved in one of the following non-reimbursable never events, it can mean that your nursing license is on the line as well:
- Patient trauma and falls
- Decubitus ulcers that are unstageable or at stages three or four
- Infections at the surgery site after some orthopedic procedures, bypass surgeries and bariatric surgeries
- Air embolisms
- Pulmonary emboli and deep vein thromboses after knee/hip replacements
- Specific poor glycemic control manifestations
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs) from catheter usage
- Vascular-catheter infections
- Transfusions of incompatible blood
- Post-surgical retention of foreign objects in patients
While this list is not all-inclusive, it describes common never events wherein a nurse’s license could be in jeopardy.
Protect your future after a never event occurs
The actions you take immediately after the discovery of a never event can determine the trajectory of your nursing career. While the never event itself is egregious on its own, any attempt to cover up the event or your role in it can only worsen your situation from a professional standpoint.
After stabilizing your patient according to medical protocols, the next important thing to do is seek help preserving and protecting your nursing license after a never event.