Applying the Global Trigger Tool in German Hospitals: A Pilot in Surgery and Neurosurgery.

Research paper by Mareen M Brösterhaus, Antje A Hammer, Steffen S Kalina, Stefan S Grau, Anjali A AA Roeth, Hany H Ashmawy, Thomas T Groß, Marcel M Binnebösel, Wolfram Trudo WT Knoefel, Tanja T Manser

Indexed on: 21 Nov '20Published on: 21 Nov '20Published in: Journal of patient safety


The aim of the study was to assess the feasibility and potential of the Global Trigger Tool (GTT) for identifying adverse events (AEs) in different specialties in German hospitals. A total of 120 patient records were randomly selected from two surgical and one neurosurgery departments of three university hospitals in Germany for a period of 2 months per department between January and July 2017. The records were reviewed using an adaptation of the German version of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement GTT. Thirty-nine records (32.5%) contained at least one AE. A total of 53 AEs were found in these 39 records. The incidences of AEs were 18.9% and 35.9% in the two surgical departments and 45.3% in neurosurgery. This corresponded to AE rates of 25.5 to 72.1 per 1000 patient-days and from 25.0 to 60.0 per 100 admissions across the three departments. A total of 71.7% of all identified AEs resulted in temporary harm (category E), 26.4% in temporary harm, requiring prolonged hospitalization (category F), and 1.9% in permanent patient harm. We also identified practical challenges, such as the necessary adaptation of the GTT relative to the respective department. The application of the GTT is feasible and represents an effective instrument for quality measurement when adapted to the departmental specifics. The trigger detection with the GTT is a valuable addition for proactive analyses of high-risk processes.