Last updated 26/03/2015

New Zealand has an excellent health care system which provides safe and efficient care to the vast majority of people using its services. However, adverse incidents still occur due to failures in the system. It’s important these events are reported so we can learn from them and improve the way we do things.

The Commission guides and supports the New Zealand health care sector in the management, reporting and analysis of reportable events. All events should be reported, including near misses where no harm was caused to a patient, all the way through to serious or sentinel events, where significant harm or death may have occurred.

The following pages provide resources and information on how events are reported to enable health care providers to meet their responsibilities in relation to reportable events.

For any queries relating to reportable events please contact us.

Professor Alan Merry, Chair of the Health Quality & Safety Commission, explains the importance of serious and sentinel events reporting.


Helen McKernan talks about her mother’s death, following a hospital medication error.  Helen's mother was given the wrong medication for four days because of a chart mix up and inadequate checking.