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Patient safety and incident reporting: survey of Italian healthcare workers


Background Incident-reporting systems (IRS) are tools that allow front-line healthcare workers to voluntary report adverse events and near misses. The WHO has released guidelines that outline the basic principles on how to design and implement successful IRS in healthcare organisations.

Methods A written survey was administered with an assisted self-assessment technique to a representative sample of healthcare workers in Italian hospitals with and without IRS. Data were collected using two different 16-item questionnaires. The questionnaires targeted two issues: (1) workers' experience of patient safety incidents and (2) their expectations on incident reporting.

Results 70% of respondents confirmed involvement in a patient safety incident, but only 40% utilised an IRS to formally report the event. The data indicate that information regarding patient safety incidents is not communicated throughout the entire organisation.

Conclusions Research findings are consistent with the available evidence on healthcare workers' experience of patient safety incidents.

  • Learning reporting systems
  • patient safety
  • healthcare operators′
  • opinions
  • human error
  • qualitative research
  • safety culture

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