Patient safety incidents (involving a near miss or adverse event) can be reported into EMER. The following definitions, from the World Health Organization’s International Classification for Patient Safety will be used during the project. (Source: Runciman W, Hibbert P, Thomson R, Van Der Schaaf T, Sherman H, Lewalle P: Towards an International Classification for Patient Safety: key concepts and terms. Int J Qual Health Care 2009, 21:18-26).

A patient safety incident (an ‘incident’) is an event or circumstance that could have resulted, or did result, in unnecessary harm to a patient. The use of the term ‘unnecessary’ in this definition recognises that errors, violations, patient abuse and deliberately unsafe acts occur in healthcare and are unnecessary incidents, whereas certain forms of harm, such as an incision for a laparotomy, are necessary. The former are incidents, whereas the latter is not.

Further definitions are available from the Patient Safety Terminology page.