Background Incident-reporting systems (IRS) collect snapshots of hazards, mistakes and system failures occurring in healthcare. These data repositories are a cornerstone of patient safety improvement. Compared with systems in other high-risk industries, healthcare IRS are fragmented and isolated, and have not established best practices for implementation and utilisation.
Discussion Patient safety experts from eight countries convened in 2008 to establish a global community to advance the science of learning from mistakes. This convenience sample of experts all had experience managing large incident-reporting systems. This article offers guidance through a presentation of expert discussions about methods to identify, analyse and prioritise incidents, mitigate hazards and evaluate risk reduction.
- Incident-reporting systems
- patient safety
- risk management
- medical mistakes
- safety reporting systems
- medical error
- qualitative research
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Funding The WHO World Alliance for Patient Safety (WAPS) did not directly influence the meeting agenda, the drafting of the manuscript or the content of the manuscript.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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