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The association between patient-reported incidents in hospitals and estimated rates of patient harm

25 Feb 2015

Objective

The aim of this study was to test the association between the rates of patient-reported incidents and patient harm documented in the patient record.

Design

The study was a secondary analysis of two national hospital assessments conducted in 2011.

Setting

Hospital services in Norway.

Participants

The patient survey was a standard national patient-experience survey conducted at the hospital level for all 63 hospitals in Norway. The medical record review was performed by 47 Global Trigger Tools (GTTs) in all 19 hospital trusts and 4 private hospitals. The two data sets were matched at the unit level, yielding comparable patient experiences and GTT data for 7 departments, 16 hospitals and 11 hospital trusts.

Intervention

No intervention.

Main Outcome Measures

The correlation at the unit level between the patient-reported incident in hospital instrument (PRIH-I) and estimated rates of patient harm from the GTT.

Results

The PRIH-I index was significantly correlated with all patient-reported experience indicators at the individual level, with estimates for all patient harm events (Categories E–I) at the unit level (r = 0.62, P < 0.01), and with estimates of more serious harm events in Categories F–I (r = 0.42, P < 0.05).

Conclusions

Patient-reported incidents in hospitals, as measured by the PRIH-I, are strongly correlated with patient harm rates based on the GTT. This indicates that patient-reported incidents are related to patient safety, but more research is needed to confirm the usefulness of patient reporting in the evaluation of patient safety.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in International Journal for Quality in Heath Care