Turn Incident Reports into Results

Learn to overcome common event reporting limitations to produce safety and quality improvements using additional research, case studies and observations.

Resource thumbnailExecutive Summary
Information from effective patient safety incident reporting systems has proven to be of great value to hospitals and health systems as they strive to make care safer. Most hospitals today have a program for reporting and monitoring patient safety incidents but there are still many opportunities to make these processes more effective and convenient. There are also several persistent barriers that can limit the use and effectiveness of incident reporting programs. Up to 86 percent of reportable events go unreported, according to one study.1 Lack of participation undermines hospital leaders’ ability to identify and address risks to patient safety.

A growing body of research is identifying how incident reporting can be improved. One such study 2 identified the five top reasons why incident reporting has not reached its potential:

  • Inadequate Report Processes
  • Lack of Adequate Medical Engagement
  • Insufficient Action
  • Inadequate Funding and Institutional Support
  • Failure to Capture Evolving Health Information Technology Developments


This white paper presents guidance on how to overcome these limitations to produce safety and quality improvements, using additional research, case studies and observations.