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The ultimate guide to incident reporting: make incident reporting simple, streamlined and stress-free.

A better way to record, report and learn from incidents to improve patient safety and care.
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| Paul Clinton | Healthcare

Incident reporting is vital for healthcare providers to advance learning, improvements, and patient care. However, due to a lengthy, complex reporting process, minor incidents often go unreported, giving an inaccurate overview of adverse events.

For more reliable data, better learning, and continuing to work towards delivering better standards of patient care, NHS England strongly encourages reporting of incidents, despite much of it being voluntary.

To improve incident reporting, NHS England has announced that all healthcare providers must update their current National Learning and Reporting System (NRLS) to one that is NHS England certified to the new Learn from Patient Safety Events (LFPSE) standard, to upload to a nationwide database that compiles incident data on a local and national scale.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: NHS England has announced that Trusts are now able to opt-in for a six-month extension to the March 2023 deadline to September 2023. This extension is for testing, refinement and customisation only. You are still required to have an LFPSE incident reporting system in place by March 31st 2023

For more information on rapid migration to LFPSE, access the webinar recording with Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Our wonderful InPhase team migrated them from Datix to Oversight in a record-breaking 5 weeks and 1 day, bringing all historic incident data with them, for one, integrated solution.

Why trust us?

We are InPhase: delivering performance and assurance systems since 1991. Our software has helped improve the performance, quality, safety, assurance, and outcomes for hundreds of high-reliability organisations in the UK to their next level.

The new Incident Oversight app adds to our range of more than 20 triangulated healthcare apps in our Oversight suite. Other triangulated apps include Quality Oversight for compliance assurance with CQC, NICE, CAS and a new Audit Oversight app for faster audit and checklist data capture and analysis.

InPhase creates innovative, easy to use software with both end users and administrators in mind.

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What is incident reporting?

Incident reporting, or more broadly patient safety events, records any unintended or unexpected patient safety incident, risk or outcome that could have or did harm one or more patients receiving care.

Both patients and staff are encouraged to report any adverse events to support healthcare providers in continuous work to learn from accidents and make changes to processes that currently could result in harm.

Patients can record any incidents via an online portal on the NHS England website. To record adverse events, staff must use their Trust’s LFPSE certified incident reporting system no later than 31st March 2023.

Why is incident reporting important?

It's essential to record incidents locally and nationally for learning purposes and to inspire change in practice where necessary. When done correctly, incident reporting can help identify trends and causes for common incidents and thus reduce the occurrences of further harm.

Incident reporting to a national database, such as LFPSE can help quickly identify patterns that impact patient safety and alert staff to make the appropriate changes. Incident reporting has overturned several practices that have harmed patients, for example, the risk of overdosing on tacrolimus when changing from oral to intravenous administration or the importance of a 'tug test' when transferring a patient to a portable ventilator. Without proper incident reporting, these incidents could have continued having detrimental effects on patient safety.

Reporting incidents allows for better insight into adverse events and their reasons. In addition, the data collection provides a wealth of support to ongoing improvement work across healthcare providers and continuous national patient safety improvement programmes.

Ultimately, incident reporting allows for better learning, faster changes in potentially harmful processes and improvements in patient safety and care.

Why is incident reporting changing?

LFPSE provides a national recording database that allows any uploaders access to data to support improvement learning surrounding patient safety and care. With one central database, information can be quickly captured, streamlined and analysed to highlight issues that require action.

What is LFPSE?

The Learn from Patient Safety Events (LFPSE) service, is the new, updated incident reporting system from NHS England to replace the National Learning and Reporting System (NRLS). All Trusts and healthcare providers are required by NHS England to update to an LFPSE certified system by 31st March 2023. LFPSE records four types of patient safety events; incidents, risks, outcomes and good care events.

The upgrade to LFPSE will initially provide two critical services:

  • Recording patient safety events: this will allow NHS staff to report any patient safety events to the nationwide database that focuses on learning, with a core, mandatory dataset to collect the correct information to create an event record.
  • Give uploaders complete, uninhibited access to data: uploaders will have access to any data uploaded to better support improvement learning surrounding patient safety and care.

Much of the new system will be similar to NLRS, but with improvements in the questions, explanations and processes to encourage reporting all incidents. The LFPSE system covers a broader range of events, including good care for the first time. Knowledge of Incidents, risks, outcomes and good care, all combine towards the common goal of improving patient care.

The new upgrade aims to create a single, national NHS system for recording incidents with improved capabilities and advanced technology to improve the reporting of incidents and to identify patterns faster than ever to inspire a change in procedure and gather more intelligent data. In addition, every uploader has access to the data creating a better depth of learning and insight that is more relevant to the modern NHS.

Incident reporting is made quicker and easier with automated uploading for all levels of staff to save valuable time and effort, introducing new data capture tools with mandatory data fields for relevant, better collection of information that's more suited to improvement learning. In addition, the new system will be able to capture different information based on the type of incident in questions with a more nuanced, intuitive and responsive set of questions that look at why things go wrong to help prevent them in future.

Previously, 75% of data supplied from incident reporting came from the hospital sector, with LFPSE striving to make reporting easier for all healthcare settings, including primary and non-hospital care, making it faster and easier to do so. Ultimately, LFPSE will provide a more robust, streamlined and straightforward way to report over 2 million annual incidents occurring across Trusts and healthcare providers in the UK.

Incident Oversight from InPhase – incident reporting made easy.

The Incident Oversight app from InPhase became LFPSE certified by NHS England on 31st March 2022, making it one of four LFPSE certified systems for all sizes of Trusts and healthcare providers at that time. The LFPSE certification guarantees that Trusts and healthcare providers comply with the NHS England move to Learn from Patient Safety Events to improve patient care continuously. As a result, Incident Oversight from InPhase makes incident reporting quicker and easier than ever, fully supporting users' needs and enhancing patient safety and learning from incidents.

With Incident Oversight, users can expect to save the equivalent of a whole FTE for medium-sized Trusts and 3-4 clinical FTE for larger Trusts per year, simply with the use of a fast, dynamic data capture form that reduces the time it takes to record incidents with full, uninhibited access from mobile, tablet or desktop, saving several minutes in reporting time for each event. That adds up to make an incredible difference! In addition, by reducing the number of steps it takes to complete an event report and the time it takes to do so, staff are more encouraged to report all events , giving a more accurate reflection of safety events to learn from.

Incident Oversight supports automated real-time uploading to LFPSE, with everything submitted at the touch of a button. Uploaders can also edit incident data post-submission; if an incident needs updating, access the report and update the required detail. The change in information will immediately be reflected in local records and the national LFPSE database.

As part of your team's continued efforts towards improvement and providing excellent patient care, we've included a suite of robust and ready-made dashboards that present quickly, cleanly, and visually the incident and event information in real-time for Trust, directorate, ward, specialty, unit and theme. In addition, learning is smoother with integrated discussion, Microsoft Teams conferencing for collaboration, and action setting and tracking for improved assurance.

Users can also quickly and easily triangulate data, clearly and visually, with other Oversight apps in our suite, including Audits, Risk, CQC domains and framework, self-assessments. Policy and NICE guidance. This triangulation can even be implemented by interfacing Oversight with third-party vendor systems.

Get complete oversight across the hospital, Trust or other healthcare setting for better insight into current and past patient and staff incidents and events discovering the best ways to reduce them in real-time, with relevant data only a click away.

The takeaway

Incident reporting is crucial in improving patient safety and care by identifying and analysing trends in practice that causes harm and to inspire positive changes.

The upgrade to LFPSE is a once-in-20-years re-engineering of the approach and provides a much improved singular national database to improve learning and organisational competence and cover a broader range of events for more useful data.

It also provides an unmissable opportunity to consider changing suppliers and replace local systems with a modern, integrated and triangulated system designed to support continuous improvement, from a highly-skilled and committed UK centric supplier.

Incident Oversight from InPhase gained its LFPSE certification from NHS England, being fully compliant with all the changes.

Most importantly, it’s quick and easy to use, encouraging the reporting of all patient safety events, fully customisable and scalable with triangulation capabilities to the other 20+ quality assurance, governance and compliance apps in the Oversight suite and integrate to data form third-party vendors for improved real-time situational awareness throughout the organisation. It delivers engaging and efficient data capture and analysis with seamless automated uploading to LFPSE and StEIS, saving clinical staff time and effort.

Schedule time with one of our experts today for more information on how LFPSE Incident Oversight from InPhase can revolutionise your incident reporting.

Schedule time with us

Paul Clinton

Chief Solutions Officer

Paul has vast expertise in healthcare, NHS, independent providers and social care, from practical experience and implementations of dozens of healthcare systems over the past decade. Leading the design and integration of solutions today using the InPhase suite with unparalleled knowledge.

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