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Overcome 3 Challenges in Hospital Incident Reporting

Analysis  |  By Christopher Cheney  
   May 31, 2018

A children's hospital has more than doubled its number of submitted incident reports, overcoming challenges such as employees' fear of retaliation for reporting.  


Over a three-year period, Children's National Health System in Washington, D.C., more than doubled the number of incident reports filed by employees, creating opportunities to improve quality and safety for patients.

"If we don't know what's going on in our organization, we can't improve," says Rahul Shah, MD, MBA, vice president, chief quality and safety officer. "Any organization that fears increased reporting is missing the boat."

A research study about the incident report initiative was recently published in Pediatric Quality & Safety. Data in the study quantify the achievement at Children's National as follows:

  • 2014 safety event reports totaled 4,668
  • 2017 safety event reports totaled 10,971
  • Report submission time was decreased by nearly 30%
  • Number of submitting departments increased by 94%
  • Anonymous reporting decreased 69%

Christopher Cheney is the senior clinical care​ editor at HealthLeaders.

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