There was a 6% increase in serious incidents within the Health Service Executive (HSE) last year – most of which resulted in a patient’s death or serious harm.
The details have been released to Newstalk under the Freedom of Information Act.
There were 636 serious reportable events within the HSE in 2018, rising to 675 last year.
In 2019, 286 were ‘care-management events’ - which include a patient’s death due to a medication or diagnostic error, or a maternal death that was the hospital’s fault.
The largest number of incidents - 336 - were ‘environmental events’.
At least 289 of these were associated with a patient falling and dying or getting seriously injured, while a small number were related to serious burns.
Twenty-three were ‘criminal events’, which include sexual assaults or a physical attacks that resulted in a death or serious injury.
The HSE says the health service has millions of interactions with patients and service-users every year, and there is often excellent care.
But it says adverse events and patient harm can and do occur.
Some ‘serious reportable events’ are largely preventable patient-safety incidents.
Others might not have been preventable, such as a patient falling, but need to be examined to see if safety could be improved.