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Severe incident management

A ‘patient safety incident’ is an event or circumstance that could have resulted, or did result, in unnecessary harm to a patient. Incident monitoring systems are used to capture patient safety incidents and near misses. The critical function of an incident monitoring system is to learn from serious incidents and near misses, and to develop actions for safety and quality improvement initiatives.

In 2019–20, the Commission completed an environmental scan, literature review and stakeholder consultation to understand current incident monitoring processes in hospitals across Australia. Based on stakeholder consultation and the literature review, the Commission established an Incident Monitoring Expert Advisory Committee, drafted a guide to support best-practice incident monitoring and identified options to share lessons learned at the national level.

In 2020–21, the Commission will work with the expert advisory committee, state and territory health departments, and the private hospital sector to finalise the incident monitoring guide and develop additional mechanisms to improve learning from incident monitoring systems in Australia.