Applied Use of Safety Event Occurrence Control Charts of Harm and Non-Harm Events: A Case Study

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Most hospitals use occurrence reporting systems that facilitate identifying serious events that lead to root cause investigations. Thus, the events catalyze improvement efforts to mitigate patient harm. A serious limitation is that only a few of the occurrences are investigated. A challenge is leveraging the data to generate knowledge. The goal is to present a methodology to supplement these incident assessment efforts. The framework affords an enhanced understanding of patient safety through the use of control charts to monitor non-harm and harm incidents simultaneously. This approach can identify harm and non-harm reporting rates and also can facilitate monitoring occurrence trends. This method also can expedite identifying changes in workflow, processes, or safety culture. Although unable to identify root causes, this approach can identify changes in near real time. This approach also supports evaluating safety or policy interventions that may not be observable in annual safety climate surveys.

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