In this section of the Patient Safety and Incident Management Toolkit, an integrated set of resources focuses on actions that help anticipate, monitor, prevent and plan for expected and unexpected safety issues. The resources support people responsible for patient safety to recognize and reduce potential harm to patients/families and providers before incidents occur, so care is safer today and in the future.
Below is a description of the incident management components. Click the hyperlinked text to access guidance and resources.
Patient safety culture. Culture refers to shared values (what is important) and beliefs (what is held to be true) that interact with a system’s structures and control mechanisms to produce behavioural norms. Culture influences patient safety directly by determining what are accepted practices, and indirectly by acting as a barrier or enabler to people adopting behaviours that promote patient safety. We need to understand the components and influencers of culture and be able to assess it in order to develop strategies that creates a culture committed to providing the safest possible care for patients.
Before the incident. When we proactively develop and implement patient safety and incident management plans and processes, and actively monitor, analyze, prioritize and implement actions to mitigate risks and improve quality and safety, we contribute to an effective response to both expected and unexpected safety issues.
Reporting systems (frequently referred to as reporting and learning systems) capture patient safety concerns, hazards and/or incidents meant to trigger action, facilitate communication, response, learning and improvement. Establishing a reporting system and processes to support it, including identifying and spreading learning, is the foundation of patient safety and incident management and essential to advancing the patient safety culture.