Course: Risk Management Consult: Avoiding Never Events
Author: Rosemary Gafner and James Schutte
AMA PRA Category 1 credits: 6
Estimated Hours to Complete Course: 5.50
Estimated Minutes to Complete Test: 30
Course Release Date: 1/1/2021
Course Expiration Date: 12/31/2021
How never events affect patient safety

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Risk Management Consult

Avoiding Never Events


“Never events” result in serious patient injury and are usually avoidable, and therefore should never be allowed to occur. Examples range from egregious errors like wrong-site surgery to the more common medication errors. Some never events take place within the medical office, and others in the hospital All can usually be avoided through adherence to patient safety protocols. This course outlines how physicians and other healthcare providers can work together to prevent never events, improve patient safety and reduce the risk of such errors.


Upon completion of this course, users should be able to:

1. Define what a never event is.

2. List the six categories of never events, and provide at least one example from each.

3. Explain how root cause analysis and systems analysis work, and how they can be used to prevent never events.

4. Explain the importance of teamwork in preventing never events.

5. Describe the role of safety protocols in preventing never events.

Target Audience

This course is designed for physicians, nurses and other providers who care for patients in any setting, including hospitals, clinics, and private offices.


This is a self-study course consisting of text and CME test, enabling physicians to come and go at their leisure and study at their own pace. Physicians should read the course content, answer the test questions and submit the answers for scoring. Those who complete the course with a score of 80 percent or higher will earn a maximum of 6 AMA PRA Category 1 creditsTM.


This course was developed by Rosemary Gafner, Ed.D. and James E. Schutte, Ph.D.  Their CVs are available online at


CME Information

Medical Risk Management, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing education for physicians. Medical Risk Management, Inc.designates this enduring material for a maximum of 6 AMA PRA Category 1 creditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Estimated time to complete this course: 6 hours.


Commercial Support

This activity was developed by Medical Risk Management, Inc. without commercial support.


No one in a position to influence course content has anything to disclose.