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Adverse events

Reporting to boards of registration

Below is a list of some instances in which health care professionals are explicitly required to report an adverse event to their respective board.

This list may not be comprehensive. It does not include any obligations that you may have to report to a state agency other than your board, nor does it include any requirements that health care facilities or programs may have to report adverse events.

If you are unsure whether you are required to report, we recommend that you contact your respective board. A directory of health care professional boards can be found here.


Reporting obligation



A physician working in an office setting must report

  1. An unplanned patient transfer to a hospital, or
  2. A patient death that is unexpected and unrelated to the natural course of the patient's illness or underlying condition,

if precipitated by a treatment administered or a procedure performed in the physician’s office setting.

File a report with the Board as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days following the event.

Data Repository Unit, Board of Registration in Medicine
200 Harvard Mill Square, Suite 330
Wakefield, MA 01880
Phone: (781) 876-8200
Fax: (781) 876-8380

Laws: 243 CMR § 2.14(4)(d)


  1. Death at a dental facility. A dentist who was treating and/or responsible for a patient who died at a dental facility or is pronounced dead at another facility (for instance, if the patient was transported to the hospital and died), must report the death to the Board of Registration in Dentistry. Submit the report within 7 days by certified mail, e-mail, or fax.
  2. Adverse event related to anesthesia. A dentist with an anesthesia administration permit must report to the Board of Registration in Dentistry:
  • Death. Death related to: “anesthesia, deep sedation and general anesthesia, moderate sedation, minimal sedation, nitrous oxide-oxygen only and local anesthetic,” if it occurred during or resulted from the dentist’s treatment. Report within 24 hours of the death.
  • Morbidity: Morbidity that “may result in permanent physical or mental injury as a result of the administration of general anesthetic agents, sedative agents or nitrous oxide-oxygen analgesia.” Report within 30 days of the morbidity’s occurrence.

Board of Registration in Dentistry

Phone: (800) 414-0168 or (617) 973-0971
Fax: (617) 973-0980

Laws: 234 CMR § 5.16, 234 CMR § 6.17


Adverse reactions to Diagnostic Pharmaceutical Agents (DPAs). An optometrist (certified to use DPAs) who observes a patient's adverse reaction to a DPA must report the reaction to the Board of Registration in Optometry.

Board of Registration in Optometry

Phone: (617) 727-1945
Fax: (617) 727-9932

Source: 246 CMR § 2.02(3)


  • Non-routine notice, correspondence, or disciplinary action - 247 CMR 6.15(2)
  • Errors relating to preparation of medications in a sterile compounding pharmacy - 247 CMR 6.15(6)
  • Any discipline on the basis of actions listed in 247 - CMR 10.03(1)(y)
  • Any final action, including license surrender or resignation - CMR 10.03(1)(z)

Board of Registration in Pharmacy

Phone: (800) 414-0168
Fax: (617) 973-0980

If an adverse event occurred to a patient in your care and your profession is not listed above, contact your respective board for further guidance. A directory of health care professional boards in Massachusetts can be found here.