The detection of adverse events (AE) and their relationship to data quality issues through processes or medical error is not currently understood. In order to study the relationship between adverse events and data quality it is necessary to capture as many AE as possible and computational methods will be necessary to handle the large volumes of patient data. The need for adverse event detection methodology has been repeatedly noted but standard AE detection methods are not in place in the US. At present, there are several widely enforced strategies for AE detection but none are both highly successful and computational. In order to maximize AE detection, we have conducted a qualitative evidence synthesis of these approaches. The categorization of the circumstances of the event as well as the resulting patient safety problem and the method of detection provide a means to synthesize AE detection solutions. This has resulted in a set of 130 AE detection algorithms in 9 circumstances categories and 41 patient safety problem categories. This work begins the effort of consolidation of current safety metrics in an effort to produce a common set of safety measures.