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Penn researchers find error reporting improves perceptions of safety and may reduce incidents
Date:10/31/2012

(BOSTON) Documenting adverse events improves perceptions of safety and may decrease incidents in multi-site clinical practices, according to a new study from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The results of the year-long study, which focused on the Radiation Oncology department's workflow, show a strong correlation between the implementation of a Conditions Reporting System and increasingly positive responses to staff surveys focusing on the culture of safety within the department. The findings of the study will be presented on Tuesday, Oct. 30 at the American Society for Radiation Oncology's (ASTRO) 2012 annual meeting.

"The way an organization reports the workflow process is a key factor to determining safety and quality. Since the process for investigating errors can be associated with perceptions of safety, questions are often raised about these methods in large, multi-site health systems," said Amit Maity, MD, PhD, associate professor of Radiation Oncology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and one of the authors of the study. "To examine the safety culture and incident reporting process across our department, our team implemented a Conditions Reporting System that would ensure the continuous examination of any incidents. By utilizing the program, we learn from all reported events, and are able to develop improved safety measures that help us deliver the highest-quality patient care."

Results of the study after one year already show an increasingly open and healthy culture, and improved responses to staff surveys focused on safety. For the duration of the study, staff in all divisions and across all steps in the Radiation Oncology workflow participated in reporting incidents. Researchers measured safety culture using the AHRQ Patient Safety Culture Survey a tool commonly used to assess the safety culture of a hospital or specific unit within a hospital
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Contact: Katie Delach
katie.delach@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5964
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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