Reporting and responding to patient safety incidents based on data from hospitals’ reporting systems: A systematic review

Ere Uibu, Kaja Põlluste, Margus Lember, Mari Kangasniemi


Objective: This review summarizes and synthesizes the evidence on follow-up activities regarding patient safety incidents reported in hospitals.
Methods: Peer-reviewed papers were retrieved with electronic searches from CINAHL, Web of Science, PubMed and Scopus databases and with manual searches in most relevant journals and in the reference lists of included studies, limiting searches to papers published in English between 2014 and 2018. A systematic review was conducted in adherence to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement. Two authors extracted the data following a predefined extraction form.
Results: All together 16 studies were selected for analysis. All studies described incidents and gave insight into problems, risks and unsafe situations which were responded to with recommended improvements. Recommended improvements in response to incidents involved guidelines, staff training, technical improvements and general safety improvements. Only five studies reported feedback and knowledge dissemination activities, referring to meetings, written support and visual support.
Conclusions: Limited research has described the systematic use of report outcomes for knowledge application in organizations. However, the development of patient safety requires that reported incidents are responded to by knowledge application within feedback and knowledge dissemination activities. Therefore, healthcare professionals need to have sufficient competences in patient safety, and more research is needed on the content and effectiveness of the responding activities.

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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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