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How hospitals report Serious Incidents to the Department of Public Health

1. Immediately

If the Serious Incident involved any of the following, call DPH and then complete step 2:

  • Unanticipated death
  • Evacuation of the facility
  • Fire
  • Suicide
  • A serious criminal act
  • Pending/actual strike

If not, go directly to step 2.

2. Within 7 Days

Submit an electronic report using the Virtual Gateway - Healthcare Facility Reporting System (HCFRS)


Not familiar with DPH’s online reporting system? You can get enrollment help, training materials, and more from DPH.

Keep in mind that any patient death that is unanticipated or unrelated to the patient’s underlying condition, whether or not it resulted from an error, should be immediately reported to the Department of Public Health by phone.


Related DPH forms and instructions

Laws: 105 CMR § 130.331(A)

Contact Information

Department of Public Health, Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality

Business hours:

Non-business hours:
617-363-0755 or 617-469-1111

Fax: 617-753-8165


We hope these instructions helped you meet this reporting requirement. Be aware that this action may not fulfill all applicable reporting requirements associated with the event.

This document is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute regulatory guidance or legal advice. Links and information in this document may be outdated. The Betsy Lehman Center does not represent or warrant that this information is accurate, complete, or current. For further terms and conditions, see the Terms of Use.