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How a 'report once' system can help improve patient safety

06 October 2022

At Radar Healthcare, we were excited to hear of the new role of patient safety commissioner which will be held by Dr Henrietta Hughes. Patient safety is our top priority, so we’re glad someone will be advocating for this at a government level.

A key part of improving patient safety is incident reporting. By logging incidents as they happen, healthcare providers can spot trends and prevent the incident occurring in future.

The current state of affairs

According to Patient Safety Learning, an independent voice for improving patient safety, there are 400,000 serious incidents of patient harm each year, and 11,000 avoidable deaths. It’s clear there is more work to be done.

Identifying incidents is the first step towards improving patient safety, and forms an important part of healthcare provision. However, this has led to clinicians and front-line staff using a variety of systems and procedures to report incidents or raise a concern. These systems vary across different regions, trusts, or even within the same organisation.

The use of different systems and technology can be overwhelming, particularly at the end of a busy shift. Remembering the details of an incident several hours later can add to the challenge. Therefore, increasing and improving the way reporting happens in healthcare is a key priority for the NHS. This is further reiterated with the implementation of Learn from Patient Safety Events (LFPSE) and the new Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF), both of which are to be implemented in 2023. In fact, the NHS predicts that 1,000 lives and £100 million could be saved per year by 2023/24 by improving patient safety.

Calls for a single system

One way to simplify reporting is to streamline the process. Dr Hughes has described this as a ‘report once’ system: one report which covers all incidents and is automatically processed in the right way.

That one source of truth is something Radar Healthcare helps with through its incident risk and learning management software. It offers health and social care organisations to manage all quality, risk and compliance in a single system, and is interoperable with other systems to avoid duplication of work. After all, we know that health and social care staff don’t have time to log in and out of different systems, often to enter the same data multiple times.

The software also helps to find trends using an organisation’s data and helps to predict risks using artificial intelligence, saving health and social care staff even more time, while contributing to the ultimate goal of improving patient safety.

We are really looking forward to the improvements in patient safety that can come from accurate and streamlined reporting, and hope this can only be accelerated by Dr Hughes in her new role. We hope to learn more about this in her keynote address at Patient Safety Congress later this month.

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