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Sentinel Event Reporting

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Sentinel Event Policy is part of a comprehensive quality assurance program and establishes the reporting and review requirements of sentinel events involving individuals served by the Department. Both community providers and components of the Department which provide direct care services shall report sentinel events as directed by this policy. The goals of this sentinel event reporting and review policy are: (1) to have a positive impact in improving care and service delivery, and (2) to understand the causes that underlie sentinel events, and make changes to internal and external systems and processes to reduce the probability of such events in the future.


A sentinel event is an unexpected occurrence involving the death or serious physical or psychological injury, or risk thereof, signaling the need for immediate investigation and response, or other serious event.

Sentinel Event Reporting Forms are to be completed when a sentinel event occurs involving an individual or individuals who:

  • Are receiving Department funded services;
  • Have received Department funded services within the preceding 30 days;
  • Have been evaluated by a service provider within the preceding 30 days; or
  • Are the subjects of a Child or Adult Protective Services report.

Sentinel Event policy, forms and instructions:

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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
129 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3852


copyright 2010. State of New Hampshire