Incident reporting in post-operative patients managed by acute pain service

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Background and Aims: Incident reporting is a reliable and inexpensive tool used in anaesthesia to identify errors in patient management. A hospital incident reporting system was already present in our hospital, but we were unable to find any incident related to acute pain management. Hence, acute pain service (APS) was started for voluntary incident reporting in post-operative patients to identify critical incidents, review the root cause and suggest remedial measures.Methods: All post-operative patients managed by APS were included in this observational study. A proforma was developed by APS, which included information about the type of incident (equipment and patient-related, human errors), severity of incident, person responsible and suggestions to prevent the same incident in the future. Patients and medical staff were informed about the reporting system. Whenever an incident was identified, a proforma was filled out by APS resident and data entered in SPSS programme.Results: Total of 98 (1.80%) incidents were reported in 5432 patients managed by APS during 3 years period. Average age of the patients was 46 ± 17 years. Majority of incidents were related to epidural care (71%) and occurred in surgical wards (87%). Most of the incidents occurred due to human error and infusion delivery set-related defects.CONCLUSION: Incident reporting proved to be a feasible method of improving quality care in developing countries. It not only provides valuable information about areas which needed improvement, but also helped in developing strategies to improve care. Knowledge and attitudes of medical and paramedical staff are identified as the targeted area for improvement.


Indian Journal of Anaesthesia