Tonight, BBC Scotland investigators claim to have found 345 NHS reports into serious incidents in hospitals across the country.
They include a patient being blown up while on oxygen therapy and others being given the wrong dosage of medication, causing death or serious injury.
Over the last three years, the Scottish NHS has paid out more than £120 million in compensation and legal expenses.
The BBC investigation also reveals a disparity in the way incidents are reported. Greater Glasgow, for instance, reported relatively few incidents – 95 – despite serving the largest population, while Shetland recorded 138 serious incidents this year.
Jim Martin, the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, has called for the reporting of such incidents to be standardised.
He said: "I think if we had a simple national system it would be far easier to ask a simple question of the health service and get a clear statistical answer."
Health Secretary Alex Neil said: "We need greater consistency in the approach to adverse events in NHS Scotland to support a culture of openness, trust and service quality improvement."
l BBC Scotland Investigates: How Safe Is Your Hospital? is broadcast on BBC One Scotland at 10.35pm tonight.