An anonymous hazard reporting hotline was established for doctors to use on two general medical wards at Weston General Hospital (WGH) in North Somerset in England during an eight day period in July/August 2014. Doctors were encouraged to report hazards and near misses or just start a conversation about a concern. The existing computer based significant event system remained alongside the hotline and was to be used where actual harm had come to a patient.
A team of consultants and quality improvement administrators monitored the hotline on a daily basis, categorized the level of risk being reported and ensured, where possible, that action was taken to address the doctors' concerns. The hotline increased reporting rates from two per month to 25 in eight days. The system identified 13 amber (medium risk) and five red (high risk) hazards which would otherwise not have been known about. This author believes these five high risk reports alone make the case for a new, quicker, easier, and anonymous reporting system for doctors at WGH urgent and irrefutable.
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