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It was with great interest that we read the study of Howell and colleagues.1
In 2003, Denmark was the first country in the world to adopt a law on patient safety that obligated hospital staff to report, the hospitals to react and the National Board of Health to communicate the learning from patient safety incidents. The national reporting system was made strictly confidential, with a clear division between disciplinary and learning functions. Local data are transmitted anonymously to the national level. In 2010 and 2011, the law was expanded to cover all of healthcare, including primary care, and allowing incident reporting from patients and families.
However, recently, the Danish incident reporting system has received criticism for being too bureaucratic, and with too little learning and too few actions resulting from the more than 180 000 annual reports. Reporting in itself is time-consuming (20–30 min per report) and analysis of the report takes on average 1 hour. Additionally, because of …
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