The worldwide commitment to patient safety has included investments in safety culture, the creation of patient safety committees, and the implementation of patient safety reporting systems, also known as incident reporting systems. It is the latter that has allowed healthcare institutions to make the greatest gains in improving patient safety.
While incident reporting systems are relatively new to healthcare, they have been a cornerstone for improving safety in other high-risk industries, including aviation and nuclear energy. The idea behind all incident reporting systems is relatively simple – they provide a mechanism to identify risks before these risks result in harm. They also offer valuable learning opportunities that can be spread through the organization. In healthcare, such a patient safety reporting system can provide frontline staff a way to report issues and potential risks that the leadership team can then work to mitigate.
When implementing a patient safety reporting system – or any enterprise risk management plan – consider these seven factors, which will influence your system’s effectiveness.
While these seven factors seem obvious, the unfortunate fact is that most patient safety reporting systems are still new and focus primarily on reporting events through an incident reporting form and template. To enhance the value of any patient safety reporting system, we must go beyond the simple reporting of events and mine our patient safety data to identify risks of patient harm, prioritize where to focus resources, develop interventions to mitigate these risks, and evaluate whether our interventions achieve desired results.
To ensure that healthcare organizations maximize their patient safety efforts, we built into our software a quality improvement loop that ensures the above factors are addressed. Both DatixWeb and Datix Cloud IQ include modules than enable the capture, evaluation, strategy development, implementation, and assessment of patient safety incidents.
What’s more, Datix Cloud IQ allows organizations to go one step further; as issues are uncovered and improvements are implemented, organizational procedures are updated to embed the changes. As a result, organizations are able to not only hardwire the seven factors for a patient safety reporting system into daily operations, but also have a memory of what improvement initiatives worked and why.