The safe provision of care and services is part of the Douglas Institute’s organizational culture. To promote patient safety, the Douglas Institute met with its employees and asked them to watch out for any incidents and accidents that may occur in the care units and report or "declare" them. Declaring unusual events is an excellent way to identify possible risks and implement solutions and prevention measures.
The Act respecting health services and social services defines incidents and accidents as follows:
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An incident means an action or situation that does not have consequences for the state of health or welfare of a patient, a personnel member, a professional involved or a third person, but the outcome of which is unusual and could have had consequences under different circumstances. (Severity ratings A, B, and C.) For example, a medication dosage error detected before the patient receives the medication.
An accident means an action or situation where a risk event occurs which has or could have consequences for the state of health or welfare of the patient, a personnel member, a professional involved or a third person. (Severity ratings D, E1, E2, F, G, H and I.) For example, a medication dosage error that could create adverse side effects for the patient.
Note that the "I" category includes deaths by natural causes.
Number of incidents and accidents
For the year 2010-2011, 163 incidents and 1886 accidents were declared at the Douglas Institute, for a total of 2049 declarations (table 1). The increase since 2008 shows that employees are starting to see declarations as an important way to improve care. The more events are declared and analysed, the better care will be in the long term.
Rate of incidents and accidents
Since the number of cases treated at the Institute varies from year to year, it is important to consider the annual number of declared accidents and incidents based on the number of hospitalized patients. Table 2 shows that an estimated 20 incidents and/or accidents were declared per day per 1000 hospitalized patients.
The Douglas Institute is dedicated to patient safety and will continue to provide new indicators in the coming weeks.