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A web-based incident reporting system and multidisciplinary collaborative projects for patient safety in a Japanese hospital


Problem: When patient safety programs were mandated for Japanese health care institutions, a safety culture, a tool for collecting incident reports, an organizational arrangement for multidisciplinary collaboration, and interventional methods for improvement had to be established.

Design: Observational study of effects of new patient safety programs.

Setting: Osaka University Hospital, a large government-run teaching hospital.

Strategy for change: A voluntary and anonymous web-based incident reporting system was introduced. For the new organizational structure a clinical risk management committee, a department of clinical quality management, and area clinical risk managers were established with their respective roles clearly defined to advance the plan-do-study-act cycle and to integrate efforts. For preventive action, alert procedures, staff education, ward rounds by peers, a system oriented approach for reducing errors, and various feedback channels were introduced.

Effects of change: Continuous incident reporting by all hospital staff has been observed since the introduction of the new system. Several error inducing situations have been improved: wrong choice of drug in computer prescribing, maladministration of drugs due to a look-alike appearance or confusion about the manipulation of a medical device, and poor after hours service of the blood transfusion unit. Staff participation in educational seminars has been dramatically improved. Ward rounds have detected problematic procedures which needed to be dealt with.

Lessons learnt: Patient safety programs based on a web-based incident reporting system, responsible persons, staff education, and a variety of feedback procedures can help promote a safety culture, multidisciplinary collaboration, and strong managerial leadership resulting in system oriented improvement.

  • patient safety
  • adverse event
  • incident reporting
  • web-based system
  • system-oriented approach

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