Sentinel Event Reporting

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Sentinel Event Policy is part of a comprehensive quality assurance program described in RSA 126-A:4,IV which establishes the reporting and review requirements of sentinel events involving individuals served by DHHS.

Sentinel events include unanticipated deaths, permanent loss of function, suicide deaths, sexual assaults, and other serious incidents. Both community providers and DHHS staff that provide direct care services shall report sentinel events as directed by the Sentinel Event policy

The goals of this sentinel event reporting and review policy are to:

  1. Have a positive impact in improving care and service delivery.
  2. Understand causes that underlie sentinel events.
  3. Make changes to internal and external systems and processes as indicated.
  4. Reduce the probability of such events occurring in the future.

The Sentinel Event Reporting Form is completed when a sentinel event occurs involving an individual or individuals who:

  • Are receiving DHHS-funded services;
  • Have received DHHS-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.