Piloting an online incident reporting system in Australasian emergency medicine

Schultz, Timothy J., Crock, Carmel, Hansen, Kim, Deakin, Anita and Gosbell, Andrew (2014) Piloting an online incident reporting system in Australasian emergency medicine. EMA - Emergency Medicine Australasia, 26 5: 461-467. doi:10.1111/1742-6723.12271

Author Schultz, Timothy J.
Crock, Carmel
Hansen, Kim
Deakin, Anita
Gosbell, Andrew
Title Piloting an online incident reporting system in Australasian emergency medicine
Journal name EMA - Emergency Medicine Australasia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1742-6731
Publication date 2014-10
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/1742-6723.12271
Open Access Status
Volume 26
Issue 5
Start page 461
End page 467
Total pages 7
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract

Medical-specific incident reporting systems are critical to understanding error in healthcare but underreporting by doctors reduces their value.


We conducted a pilot study of the implementation of an online ED-specific incident reporting system in Australasian hospitals and evaluated its use.


The reporting system was based on the literature and input of experts. Thirty-one hospital EDs were approached to pilot the Emergency Medicine Events Register (EMER). The pilot evaluated: website usage and analytics, reporting behaviours and rates, the quality of information collected in EMER. Semi-structured interviews of three site champions responsible for implementing EMER were conducted.


Seventeen EDs expressed interest; however, due to delays and other barriers reporting only occurred at three sites. Over 354 days, the website received 362 unique visitors and 77 incidents. The median time to report was 4.6 min. The reporting rate was 0.07 reports per doctor month, suggesting a reporting rate of 0.08% of ED presentations. Data quality, as measured by the number of completed non-mandatory fields and ability to classify incidents, was very high. The interviews identified enablers (the EMER system, site champions) and barriers (chiefly the context of EM) to EMER uptake.


Collecting patient safety information by frontline doctors is essential to actively engage the profession in patent safety. Although the EMER system allowed easy online reporting of high quality incident data by doctors, site recruitment and system uptake proved difficult. System use by ED doctors requires dedicated and conscious effort from the profession.
Keyword Adverse event
Emergency medicine
Incident reporting
Near misses
Safety learning system
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 21 Oct 2014, 00:51:08 EST by System User on behalf of School of Medicine