The registration of adverse events is an important issue in the field of medicine. Even today adverse event screening and registration is not part of the routine in most medical areas. In 1994, the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Heidelberg implemented a conference for screening and registering adverse events. The aim was to record all complications occurring for an internal quality control. High priority was given to improving the process of data screening and registering. The conference is held every 2 weeks and all medical staff and residents of the department are obligated to be present. Screening of the adverse events encompasses all operations performed during a bi-weekly period. Every single operation is revised for an adverse event during or following the hospital stay. Adverse events are registered on a standardized data sheet and later transferred to a database for use in further investigations. After 6 years, the conference has been fully accepted and become an integral part of the workflow of the department. During this period, 8160 operations were screened and 1335 adverse events registered. The next step will be to integrate the data-collection process into the daily ward rounds using a personal digital assistant (PDA). This process is less time consuming and may perhaps augment the number of registered cases.