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Clin Perform Qual Health Care. 1996 Jul-Sep;4(3):137-47.

Complications, adverse events, and iatrogenesis: classifications and quality of care measurement issues.

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  • 1College of Allied Health Professions, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40536, USA.


Accountability in the healthcare system demands the development of valid and reliable measures of quality, particularly outcome measures that have been risk-adjusted for factors that increase the probability of a poor outcome. Although the literature documents the existence of complications, adverse events, and iatrogenic illness, these concepts have not been compared and discussed thoroughly. This article ponders complications as a measure of quality of care by proposing a three-level classification scheme and by examining the incidence, consequence, and determinants of these events.

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