Table 5

 Desirable attributes of an integrated system: from the perspective of users

The system should:
• allow for use at a basic or superficial level, as well as for in-depth deconstruction and detailed descriptions, to facilitate a deep understanding of things that go wrong
• be modular so that people do not need to access or view aspects which are of no use to them
• present relevant data to the user depending on their area of interest
• have the capacity to allow free text when information captured by the “tick boxes” is not sufficient
• be able to link the relevant contributing or mitigating factors to each aspect of something that goes wrong
• provide definitions, rules, and, where necessary, examples of the concepts on the same computer screen
• be practical, intuitive, easy to use, and require limited training
• allow users to go online and see what has happened to an incident they reported
• provide regular feedback
• have adaptive shortcuts tailored to the needs of particular disciplines or areas of health care
• be accessible and easy to use with alternatives such as the reporter entering information directly online or communicating with someone who has access to the software, such as a patient safety officer or call centre operator