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Barriers to incident notification in a regional prehospital setting

Barriers to incident notification in a regional prehospital setting,10.1136/emj.2010.090738,Emergency Medicine Journal,P. A. Jennings,J. Stella

Barriers to incident notification in a regional prehospital setting   (Citations: 1)
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BackgroundThe identification and monitoring of critical incidents or adverse events and error reporting is a relatively new area of study in the prehospital setting. In 2005, we commenced a prospective descriptive study of the implementation of a Critical Incident Monitoring process in a rural/regional pre-hospital setting. The objective of the project was to describe the nature and incidence of errors detected in the management of prehospital trauma with the ultimate aim of identifying processes to reduce or mitigate such incidents. This paper describes the barriers to reporting critical incidents identified during the 3-year study.MethodThis study used a qualitative approach involving the triangulation of a number of ethnographic methodologies, including unscripted focus groups, informal interviews and qualitative aspects of surveys utilised in a broader research project. Prevailing themes were fed back to participants in an iterative process to further explore perceptions and beliefs regarding these concepts. The final analysis of themes is descriptively presented.ResultsA number of barriers were identified and categorised into seven themes. These themes were; Burden of reporting, fear of disciplinary action, fear of potential litigation, fear of breaches of confidentiality and fear of embarrassment, concern that ‘nothing would change’ even if the incident was reported, lack of familiarity with process and impact of ‘blame culture’.ConclusionThere are numerous barriers to reporting critical incidents. One of the key approaches which may alleviate many of the barriers to reporting is shifting to a systems based focus rather than an individual ‘shame and blame’ approach. The underlying barriers lie in the culture of the profession, and appear consistent across other health care disciplines.
Journal: Emergency Medicine Journal - EMERG MED J , vol. 28, no. 6, pp. 526-529, 2010
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