The Inspector General surveyed 189 hospitals – all of which had incident reporting systems that were relied heavily upon to capture events that were used to conduct patient safety improvement activities.
The report’s published findings show how much needs to be done – although this report was released six years ago, based on our experience, we don’t believe much has changed on the patient safety landscape. Consider the following discoveries offered up by the Inspector General, quoted verbatim from the 2012 report:
It’s Time To Go Beyond Simple Reporting
What we’ve learned over the years – not only Datix specifically, but healthcare as a while – is that protecting patients from harm requires active surveillance within a safety culture that encourages self-reporting of errors and near misses. It’s one thing to train your staff on what constitutes a patient safety event, but it’s another thing entirely to foster an organizational culture that fosters the reporting of these events.
To successfully reduce preventable patient harm, healthcare organizations need to do both.
It is for this reason that Datix designed its online incident reporting form in consultation with end users, so that it is simple to use and suitable for both clinical and non-clinical incident reporting. The user interface can be personalized to the needs of the organization, and the workflows can be amended to match the organization’s structure. Incidents can be submitted by anyone in the organization with access to a computer.
But we didn’t stop there, because reams of incident reports have no value on their own – regardless of whether they are stored in a file drawer or on a computer server. To be able to act on these reports require the ability to quickly identify trends, which is what the Datix Enterprise Risk Manager – a component of Datix Cloud IQ – is designed to do.
At the heart of Datix Cloud IQ is the Investigations module. With Investigations, you can uncover contributory factors that lead to incidents and efficiently devise recommendations and implement actions to protect patients. As issues are uncovered and improvements are implemented, organizational procedures are updated to embed the changes – giving your organization a memory of what works and why.
However, Datix Cloud IQ not only provides healthcare providers with the organizational memory they sorely need, but also encourages further incident reporting because staff see actions being taken to improve patient safety – actions that result from the reporting of incidents. When that happens, we’ve taken a big step to correct the problems identified by the Inspector General in 2012.