Patients Own Safety Incidents Reports to the Danish Patient Safety Database Possess a Unique but Underused Learning Potential in Patient Safety

Anders Bech Christiansen, Simon Simonsen, Gert Allan Nielsen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftsartikelForskningpeer review


OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to analyze how patients' own reports of safety incidents to the Danish Patient Safety Database can contribute to patient safety.
BACKGROUND: Patient involvement enhances patient safety; however, there is a shortage of tools capable of systematically capturing and usage of patients' own reports. Since 2012, the Danish Patient Safety Database (DPSD) has comprised such a tool.
METHODS: A total of 209,263 incident reports were compared across the following four reporting groups: patients, relatives, doctors, and nurses. Using thematic comparison, 300 narratives from each group were compared with respect to differences and similarities in the wording of the safety incident.
RESULTS: Only a tiny proportion of safety incidents were reported by patients' themselves (1.4%). Most of these (86%) were accepted for processing in the DPSD. Almost 90% of the accepted incidents were classified successfully. Patients' own reports were longer, more often "less severe incidents," and more often reported by female patients. Thematic content analyses revealed incident descriptions from health professionals as terse, unemotional, and extensively using medical terminology and abbreviations. In contrast patients' reports were lengthy, emotional, and focused on relations to health personal, health consequences, and communication errors.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite the very low ratio of patients reporting an observed incident to DPSD, the finding that most patients own reports are accepted and classified makes the DPSD a promising, comprehensive tool to capture patients' own reports. However, the rich, contextualized descriptions seem insufficiently captured by established nomenclature.
TidsskriftJournal of Patient Safety
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 22 maj 2019


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