Table 2 Five modes of feedback for incident reporting systems with examples of how each may be implemented
ModeTypeContent and examples
A: Bounce backInformation to reporter
  • Acknowledge report filed (eg, automated response)

  • Debrief reporter (eg, telephone debriefing)

  • Provide advice from safety experts (feedback on issue type)

  • Outline issue process (and decision to escalate)

B: Rapid responseAction within local work systems
  • Measures taken against immediate threats to safety or serious issues that have been marked for fast-tracking

  • Temporary fixes/workarounds until in-depth investigation process can complete (withdraw equipment; monitor procedure; alert staff)

C: Raise risk awarenessInformation to all front-line personnel
  • Safety-awareness publications (posted/online bulletins and alerts on specific issues; periodic newsletters with example cases and summary statistics)

  • Highlight vulnerabilities and promote correct procedures

D: Inform staff of actions takenInformation to reporter and wider reporting community
  • Report back to reporter on issue progress and actions resulting from their report

  • Widely publicise corrective actions taken to resolve safety issue to encourage reporting (eg, using visible leadership support)

E: Improve work systems safetyAction within local work systems
  • Specific actions and implementation plans for permanent improvements to work systems to address contributory factors evident within reported incidents

  • Changes to tools/equipment/working environment, standard working procedures, training programs, etc

  • Evaluate/monitor effectiveness of solutions and iterate