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What is an Incident?

By Heather Brown
August 27, 2014

An incident is any occurrence which is not consistent with the routine care of a particular resident, or an event that is not consistent with the routine operation of the organization. Many insurance companies have now developed other requirements for reporting actual or potential claims. Incident reporting, however, remains an important proactive means of loss control within any organization.

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Often times, incidents are not reported because of the following:

  1. There is no clear definition of what an incident is
  2. Failure in the ability to identify serious events
  3. Seen as purely a nursing function, so safety-related incidents are not reported
  4. Seen as a Safety Committee function, so clinical events are not reported
  5. Seen as an admission of negligence, so staff is fearful to report
  6. Response to reported incidents is punitive, so staff is hesitant to report
  7. Perception of incident reporting as a routine task with low priority

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