Survey: Adverse-event reporting systems not being used effectively

A new survey from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality underscores the fact that while it's one thing to collect quality data, it's quite another to make sure it gets used properly. 

The survey found that while 96 percent of hospitals surveyed by AHRQ have adverse-event reporting systems in place, only 21 percent of them are using such systems to distribute error reports throughout their organizations.

The AHRQ also says in the report that more uniform standards will be needed to combat variations in the systems hospitals have developed. The agency plans to use the results to develop baseline data for hospital reporting systems, and will continue to assess whether they are effective in improving healthcare.

Working with the Joint Commission and RAND Corp., the AHRQ has identified four pieces of an effective reporting system. They include a supportive environment to protect staff, broad reporting from a range of staff, timely distribution of summary reports and senior-level review and discussion of these reports.

To learn more about the report:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)