Benefits of Incident Reporting in Healthcare

Dave Clifton
Benefits to incident reporting in healthcare

In 2019, U.S. hospitals recorded 221,400 work-related injuries and illnesses, a rate of 5.5 work-related injuries and illnesses for every 100 full-time employees, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA). Combating that rate is one way the benefits of incident reporting in healthcare shine when protecting workers.

In this blog, we’ll outline how an effective incident reporting system – supported by digital incident reporting software – helps track, report, and improve processes before and after healthcare incidents.

How Healthcare Workers Are Getting Hurt

Hospitals are dangerous places to work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, hospitals outpace construction, manufacturing, and the U.S. average for private industries for staff injuries and illnesses.

Data Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011

Data Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011


Analyze Root Causes and Make Improvements

The benefits of incident reporting in healthcare help organizations delve into the specifics of what went wrong and why. Such analyses identify the factors leading to incidents, which, in turn, informs the development of targeted interventions to mitigate risks.

Some benefits of incident reporting in healthcare include the ability to:

Track Progress and Trends

The reporting available in digital healthcare incident management software enables healthcare organizations to measure the effectiveness of their safety interventions and quality improvement initiatives. Furthermore, these systems reveal patterns of recurring issues that signal the need for broader organizational changes or new safety protocols.

Enhance Organizational Safety Culture

Real-time incident reporting reinforces a culture of safety. Anonymous reporting options encourage staff to report incidents without fear of blame or retribution. This fosters an environment where healthcare worker and patient safety is everyone’s responsibility. 

Support Compliance and Accreditation

Incident reporting is not only a best practice but also a regulatory requirement in many jurisdictions. It helps healthcare organizations meet compliance standards set by healthcare accreditation bodies and demonstrate an ongoing commitment to safety and quality care.

Learn from Mistakes

Every incident creates the opportunity to learn and improve. Understanding root causes helps healthcare facilities of all sizes to make adjustments to prevent recurrences. Assigning compliance training is a common corrective action that boosts worker safety and improves patient outcomes.


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Proactivity Starts with Digital Solutions

Incident reporting, especially in large healthcare organizations, can be daunting and voluminous. Most large systems use some type of compliance and risk management tool. Adding a digital incident reporting solution can help eliminate delays, identify trends, and resolve issues more quickly.

Beneficial functions to look for in a digital solutions include:

  • Accessible-Anywhere Forms: A big time saver that allows employees at any location with an internet connection to quickly and easily report incidents from anywhere.
  • Dynamic Form Building: Drag-and-drop fields allow easy customization and improve the collection of specific data to simplify workflows and identify trends.
  • Anonymous Reporting: Employees may feel uneasy about reporting incidents involving co-workers. An online format that allows employees to anonymously complete and submit incident reports from anywhere can significantly improve escalation and resolution.
  • Automated Escalation Workflows: The days of searching for paper incident reports and finding the people involved are gone. A digital escalation matrix can expedite the approval and review process.
  • Severity Clarity: Legacy incident reports often fail to properly denote the severity of an event. Digital incident reports assign accurate and meaningful classifications that improve reporting effectiveness and trend identification.

MedTrainer offers all the functions listed above in an all-in-one compliance solution. Enhance your compliance programs with digital incident reporting solutions for any size organization. Contact us to learn more.