A Model for Incident Review Committees in Behavioral Health Settings

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Despite the fact that incident review committees have been a key component of quality improvement in behavioral health settings for decades, specific models of how these committees are structured and operate are not well described. We present a model for an incident review committee that has been implemented in 2 large, academic acute care psychiatric hospitals. We believe the model not only permitted us to efficiently and effectively review untoward incidents, but that it also provided an approach to calibrating standards of care for the institution, engaging physicians in an interdisciplinary effort, promulgating a culture of quality review and improvement throughout the organization, promoting continuity and sustainability of the incident review process, and, most importantly, driving beneficial change in clinical practice. Demonstration of the effectiveness of this model requires formal investigation.

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