Can patient safety incident reports be used to compare hospital safety? Results from a quantitative analysis of the English National Reporting and Learning System data

January 27, 2016

Source:  PLOS One

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Date of publication:  December 2015

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell: The National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) collects reports about patient safety incidents in England. Government regulators use NRLS data to assess the safety of hospitals. This study aims to examine whether annual hospital incident reporting rates can be used as a surrogate indicator of individual hospital safety. Secondly assesses which hospital characteristics are correlated with high incident reporting rates and whether a high reporting hospital is safer than those lower reporting hospitals. Finally, it assesses which health-care professionals report more incidents of patient harm, which report more near miss incidents and what hospital factors encourage reporting. These findings may suggest methods for increasing the utility of reporting systems.

Length of publication:   8 pages

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General practice patient safety reporting form launched

March 25, 2015

Source:  NHS England

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Date of publicationFebruary 2015

Publication type:  News item

In a nutshell: A new e-form has been launched to enable general practice staff to quickly and easily report patient safety incidents to the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS). The number of safety incidents reported to the NRLS from primary care remains low, making it difficult to develop appropriate and relevant support and learning resources for practice staff. The new e-form can be completed in a matter of minutes, with many questions requiring quick and simple answers. Practices can choose to include their practice code or can submit a report anonymously. Patient identifiable information is also not required. Upon submission of the incident report there is the option to request a bounce back email with a Significant Event Audit template which can be used for CPD, Appraisal and Revalidation. This can also provide evidence of patient safety activity during CQC inspections.

Length of Publication:  1 web page


Patient safety incident reporting continues to improve

October 1, 2014

Source:  NHS England

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Date of publication:  September 2014

Publication type:  News item

In a nutshell: The publication of six-monthly data on patient safety incidents reported to the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) between 1 October 2013 and 30 April 2014 shows the NHS is continuing to get better at recognising and reporting patient safety incidents. The increase in the level of reported incidents shows that the NHS is continuing to be more open and transparent about reporting patient safety incidents. Incident reporting is important at a local level because it allows clinicians to learn about why patient safety incidents happen within their own service and organisation, and what they can do to keep their patients safe from avoidable harm.

Length of Publication:  1 web page


Patient safety alert on risk of using vacuum and suction drains when not clinically indicated

June 25, 2014

Source:  NHS England

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Date of publication:  June 2014

Publication type:  News item

In a nutshell:  NHS England has issued a patient safety alert on the risk of using vacuum and suction drains when not clinically indicated. The alert has been issued following the report of a serious incident to the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS). Two further similar incidents had been reported to the NRLS previously. There is a link available to the full patient safety alert.

Length of Publication:  1 web page


Six-monthly patient safety incident data shows incident reporting in the NHS continues to improve

May 28, 2014

Source:  NHS England

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Date of publication:  May 2014

Publication type:  News item

In a nutshell: Six-monthly data on patient safety incidents reported to the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) has been published from between 1 April and 30 September 2013. According to the data, the NHS is continuing to get better at recognising and reporting patient safety incidents. The new data shows an increase of 8.9% in the number of incidents reported compared to the same period in the previous year, as the NHS continues to be more open and transparent around patient safety incident reporting. It will enable NHS England to identify and take action to prevent emerging patterns of incidents on a national level via patient safety alerts. Locally incident reporting enables clinicians to learn from their own and others’ services about why patient safety incidents happen and they can then act to prevent their own patients being placed at similar risks.

Length of Publication:  1 web page


Predictors of Patients’ Intentions to Participate in Incident Reporting and Medication Safety

March 26, 2014

Source:  Journal of Patient Safety 2014 Feb 11. [Epub ahead of print]

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Date of publication:  February 2014

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  Researchers examined aspects that may influence a patient’s willingness to report a safety error to a national reporting system and to bring their medicines into hospital to allow checking. Beliefs about control were the strongest predictors of patients’ intentions. Their expectations about what is ‘normal’ behaviour influence the extent to which they may participate in patient safety initiatives. The researchers concluded that initiatives to improve patient involvement in safety should consider the extent to which people feel in control and capable of performing the behaviour.

Length of Publication:  Unknown

Some important notes:  Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library.


New milestone reached in NHS patient safety

December 18, 2013

Source:  NHS England

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Date of publication:  November 2013

Publication type:  News item

In a nutshell:  In this blog post, NHS England’s National Director for Patient Safety, Mike Durkin, discusses the tenth anniversary of the of the first incident reported on the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS). The NRLS was set up in 2003 to encourage healthcare professionals to talk about errors, learn from them, and to be open and transparent with the patients and families affected by them.

Length of Publication:  1 web page