Website spotlight: Hospital incident reporting systems not up to snuff; events fall through the cracks

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, June 8, 2012

According to a recent Office of Inspector General (OIG) report, Hospital Incident Reporting Systems Do Not Capture Most Patient Harm , hospital reporting systems aren't doing their job. The OIG surveyed 189 hospitals regarding their use of incident reporting systems and learned that hospital staff did not report 86% of events, partly because staff often misinterpret what constitutes patient harm.

Mary J. Voutt-Goos, RN, MSN, CCRN, director of patient safety initiatives at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, and Ken Rohde, senior consultant at The Greeley Company, a division of HCPro, Inc., in Danvers, MA, agree that this news isn't surprising in the least. Reporting has become complicated and burdensome, and several roadblocks prevent frontline caregivers from reporting often and accurately.

Although the OIG report isn't earth-shattering, it serves as a sober reminder that there is no such thing as a day off when it comes to patient safety.

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