Characteristics of Inpatient Falls not Reported in an Incident Reporting System

  •  Shin-ichi Toyabe    


An incident reporting system is the most commonly used method to identify patient safety incidents in a hospital. However, non-reporting of incidents for various reasons is a serious problem. We studied the rate of inpatient falls that were not reported in an incident reporting system but were recorded in medical charts and we evaluated characteristics of those falls by comparing with the falls reported in incident reports in a Japanese acute care hospital setting. Falls recorded in medical charts were detected by using a text mining method followed by a manual chart review. About 25% of the recorded falls were not reported in incident reports. Male patients, first fall, long lag time until recording, no witness at the time of the fall and physician profession were shown to be significant factors associated with non-reporting. Our results show that the rate of non-reporting of inpatient falls in a Japanese acute care hospital is compable to that shown in previous studies in other conutries and that the same barriers to incident reporting as those found in previous studies exist in the medical staff.

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