Patient safety events are underreported by physicians. Baseline data demonstrated that physicians submitted 3% of event reports at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital. Our aim was to increase the proportion of safety reports filed by residents and faculty to 6% of all reports within a 9-month period.
We used the Model for Improvement and serial Plan, Do, Study, Act cycles to test interventions we hypothesized would improve physician recognition and reporting of patient safety events. We tracked the percentage of Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital event reports entered by residents or faculty over time as the primary outcome measure. Changes to teaching team processes included “patient safety rounds” prompted by text messages, an inpatient “superintendent” rotation with core patient safety responsibilities, and a “just-in-time” faculty development program called “QI on the Fly.”
Physician-reported events increased to a monthly average of 24% of all events reported, an improvement that has been sustained over 17 months. Resident reporting accounted for most of the increase in physician reports. Increased physician reporting was temporally associated with implementation of the “superintendent” rotation. The total number of events reported increased as a result of increased physician reporting.
Incorporating patient safety responsibilities into a teaching team’s workflow can increase physician safety event reporting. We plan additional Plan, Do, Study, Act cycles to spread this approach to other clinical settings and investigate the impact increased reporting might have on patient care.