Sentinel Events

22 MRSA §8753 requires hospitals/healthcare facilities, ambulatory surgical centers, end stage renal disease facilities and intermediate care facilities for people with intellectual disabilities to report certain serious events to the Division of Licensing and Certification.

What is a Sentinel Event?

A Sentinel Event is a serious event defined in  10-144 CMR Ch 114 Rules Governing the Reporting of Sentinel Events  (pdf). The list of Sentinel Events includes, but is not limited to:

  • Stage 3, 4, and unstageable pressure ulcer
  • Patient fall with serious injury or death
  • Unanticipated death with 48 hours of treatment
  • Unanticipated death
  • Wrong site surgery

A glossary of definitions related to Sentinel Events can be found in Appendix B of Serious Reportable Events in Healthcare.

What To Do If You Have a Sentinel Event

If you have determined that a Sentinel Event has occurred, you must fill out and submit the Sentinel Event Notification and Near Miss Reporting Form (Word), or contact the Sentinel Events team at one of the following numbers:

  • Sentinel Event Hotline - (207) 287-5813
  • Sentinel Event Fax - (207) 287-3251
  • Main Office Phone - (207) 287-9300

This notification to the Division of Licensing & Certification must occur one business day after the Sentinel Event occurred or was discovered.

If the Sentinel Event involves major permanent loss of function then the Maine Sentinel Event Functional Evidence Form (Word), will also need to be filled out and submitted to Sentinel Events team.

Annual Attestation

Healthcare providers who are required to report Sentinel Events must submit the Sentinel Events 2021 Annual Attestation (Word) form by January 30th each year. This attestation affirms that the healthcare provider reported all of the Sentinel Events in their facilities for the prior year.

Sentinel Events Annual Reports

This report is designed to provide an overview of the Sentinel Event Program, including background information regarding the program, review of Sentinel Event team activities, reporting of aggregated data and trends, and plans for the upcoming year.

Sentinel Events Newsletters

The Sentinel Events team publishes a quarterly newsletter that focuses on key patient safety issues identified by covered facilities in the state, as well as those issues that have been identified nationally. The newsletters include information and links to tools that are available to facilities as a means of assisting in the promotion of their patient safety programs.