What Is a Preliminary Incident Report?

A preliminary incident report is a record used to capture any workplace accident, injury occurrence, or security incident. When an incident occurs, it must be completed within 48 hours or two days, regardless of the extent of the damage. Using this report will prevent similar injuries in the future, hence enhancing workplace safety. Additionally, it contributes to the success of the safety evaluation. According to research findings, hazardous conditions alone account for approximately 3% of the causes of workplace accidents, whereas risky behaviors account for about 95% of the reasons.

Benefits of Incident Reports

Today, healthcare companies are obligated to report incidents to enhance patient protection and quality of care. Effective incident and event reporting reduce future risk and potential harm. Today, we will discuss six of the many benefits of incident reporting in the healthcare industry. Here are six advantages of reporting healthcare incidents:

Reporting incidents improves quality and safety: Improving treatment quality, and patient safety is the principal advantage of reporting healthcare incidents. By continuously analyzing and enhancing their clinical processes and other patient-related operations, healthcare organizations strive to improve patient safety and care quality. Therefore, incident and event reporting aids in identifying quality improvement opportunities.Reduces Reoccurrence Risk: Reducing the likelihood of a reoccurrence is one of the most significant advantages of incident reporting in healthcare. When healthcare providers can easily capture, analyze, and share data, they can act proactively to prevent the escalation of potentially hazardous situations.Facilitates a Culture of Learning: Most healthcare professionals are eager to learn new skills and readily accept guidance on getting better. That holds whether an incident involves them, a colleague in their department, or an employee from a different company division. Staff members can also contribute to incident prevention by learning from their own and others’ errors, ultimately lowering the likelihood of recurrence.Analytics: Improving patient safety requires unique data collection. Using customized dashboards with drill-through analytics tools enables healthcare teams to drill down into data across multiple departments and make decisions based on vast amounts of data. A healthcare incident reporting system’s robust analytic tools enable healthcare organizations to leverage and analyze data trends to prevent future incidents.Improves Employee Engagement: Another advantage of incident reporting in healthcare is that it motivates and engages employees to contribute to the workplace and patient safety. Rather than simply following protocols, it fosters and exemplifies a culture of trust and openness among the staff. A culture that encourages reporting incidents increases employee engagement by giving them a voice. Consequently, employees are likelier to report incidents in a blame-free atmosphere without fear of punishment or adverse consequences.Stakeholders: The advantages of incident writing in healthcare positively affect stakeholders by enhancing your company’s reputation. Improving incident reaction time and lowering accidents has a beneficial effect on an organization’s reputation, an often-overlooked advantage. Your company’s reputation as a safe workplace will enhance retention and attract new employees. Additionally, it helps you avoid negative publicity that could deter new business.

Tips on Improving Incident Reporting

Efficacious incident reporting methods facilitate progress. The primary objective of incident reporting is to address issues by adopting improvements, increasing problem awareness, and compiling a database of information. These demand active and prompt participation from all stakeholders, including witnesses, managers, insurers, victims, and affected parties. If your company’s reporting system is antiquated and operates at a snail’s pace, you can be confident that there will be fewer reported cases and likely more incidents! You can avoid this by enhancing your incident reporting using the following suggestions:

1. Communicate The Importance Through Several Modes

Repeatedly, repeatedly, often! If you emphasize the need to report only once, your employees are unlikely to take your message seriously. You can improve reporting by emphasizing what incident reporting is, its significance, and how to report incidents. You can use workshops and training, booklets, emails, and mentions in staff meetings and communications to inform your employees better. Additionally, you can use speedier digital channels such as text messages, phone conversations, emails, and chat groups, among others. The greater their knowledge, the greater their likelihood of reporting.

2. Go Mobile

In this age of rapid technological progress, everyone enjoys a life of convenience. If your employees must fill out a million paper forms and documents to file a report and attend multiple meetings with different managers, they will likely not do so. A mobile incident management platform for reporting can make a substantial difference. Instead of navigating through bureaucratic red tape to report, everyone can use their cell phones. This makes the process significantly more efficient and straightforward to monitor.

3. Add And Speed Up The Feedback Loops

Having an effective incident management platform keeps all parties informed. These platforms can be updated in real-time, allowing for prompt feedback and simple access to information and guidance. Feedback loops are essential for telling everyone. Thus, even witnesses can track the development of their report. Again, if individuals believe reporting is futile and pointless, they will not do it! Maintain a connection between your feedback and communication channels. These channels should be operational and active from the initial report until the conclusion of the investigation.

4. Add More Use Cases

More cases will be reported if your incident reporting system permits greater flexibility. If you inform your employees about accident reporting and near-miss reporting, likely, they will only report these instances. The same holds if there is just one sort of occurrence form. Keep in mind that various personnel will see varying types of difficulties. If you utilize incident reporting for safety, for instance, you should consider incorporating forms for quality, environmental, security, and IT incidents. Having them all in a single system facilitates reporting all types of observations by staff. In addition to enhancing your understanding of handling future occurrences, being prepared for incidents and gaining more experience with them improves your knowledge of how to do so.

5. Present Results

It’s useless to have nothing but words and no proof. Collect statistics, safeguard and organize reported documents, and use analytics to your advantage. Utilizing a mobile incident management platform can aid in gathering all of these details. These platforms can also enable the creation of insightful analytics that can be used for organization-wide recommendations and feedback.

6. Share Lessons Learned

Communication once more! Inform your staff when an incident occurs, what you’re doing about it, and the outcome. Transparency fosters forthcoming attitudes among individuals who wish to report. No one should feel that incident reports are a big secret where fingers are pointed at those responsible. Businesses can improve workplace safety and stop future incidents by disseminating the findings of incident reports and the lessons learned from them. The more extensive the database of lessons learned, the more material is available for safety training sessions in the workplace.

How to Process an Incident Report

Incident reports are effective instruments for promoting workplace safety. It would help if you tried to complete your incident reports as correctly and effectively as possible. We have developed a comprehensive list of the significant incident reporting stages so that you can verify you’re taking every precaution to foster a safety culture in the workplace. Here are the primary phases and steps to consider when reporting an incident:

1. Initial response and disclosure

You should initiate the incident reporting process as soon as an incident or near-miss occurs. Your initial actions should include administering necessary medical aid, containing any spills, and calling the authorities if necessary. It would help if you also alerted your company’s leadership, so they know the problem and may immediately initiate reporting procedures. Your team’s leadership will guarantee that all team members have exited the danger zone and are safe. After ensuring everyone’s safety and notifying supervisors, you can commence official documentation.

2. Conserve and record the scene

Immediately following the occurrence, you will need to collect formal and correct paperwork to begin your incident report. First, you must ensure that your employees have shut down all equipment and contain any dangers or spills. As soon as it is safe, you must preserve the scene and begin documenting the incident by capturing photographs and films of the stage. To obtain an accurate depiction of the scene, you will need to start your documentation before any equipment or other materials are relocated for cleanup purposes. In certain situations, you may also use tape or cones to prevent team members from tampering with the scene before you have thoroughly documented the incident. It is essential to capture as many specifics as possible so that the investigating team has a complete picture of what occurred and what led to the event.

3. Gather witness testimony

Witness testimony is one of the most critical aspects of incident reporting, and interviewing witnesses promptly will maximize your chances of obtaining accurate information about the incident. As soon as you have done photographing the scene of the incident, you can go on to interview witnesses. Contact the supervisor to obtain the names and contact information of any witnesses present, and begin interviewing the witnesses without delay. In the event of a fatal accident or near-miss, witnesses’ memories will likely fade with time. It would help if you recorded as much of this information as possible. Consider using an audio recorder, recording witness interviews, and taking written notes to ensure you get all essential details. Before beginning, discussing interview techniques with supervisors or leadership is best. After an incident, employees may be hesitant to testify, so you must ensure that they feel comfortable and supported throughout the process.

4. Fill up the form and submit

After gathering all vital information, you should create a formal incident report. The OSHA mandates workplaces to file incident reports on accidents, injuries, and near-misses. The administration also offers paperwork to guarantee that incident reports are accurately recorded and submitted. You will also be required to present the completed information to the appropriate authorities in certain instances. For instance, this might be the case in the event of mortality, a hazardous spill, or any other catastrophic incident for which you are required by law to reveal this information to the appropriate authorities.

5. Determine the causes

You must now identify how and why the incident occurred after submitting your incident report. This investigation of a workplace occurrence is commonly known as a root cause analysis. To uncover the “root causes” of an incident, you or your investigative team will need to undertake a root cause analysis to identify the holes in your safety processes and systems. OSHA provides helpful guidance for identifying the underlying reasons for an event, and this guide includes questions to ask when conducting an inquiry. This guide helps you consider the situation from many perspectives and execute a comprehensive investigation.

6. Implement corrective actions

Once the inquiry is complete, you can begin implementing measures to prevent a similar situation from occurring in the end. Your team may adopt remedial actions to foster a workplace safety culture that benefits the firm and its employees. Understanding your workplace’s safety and quality standards is the first step in developing your corrective action plan. Once you thoroughly understand these requirements, you can create specific methods for preventing future injuries and train team members from practicing workplace safety. This could be anything from emphasizing the need to wear safety gear to specialized instruction on safe equipment operation. Your corrective action plans should be tailored to your workplace and the shortcomings you identified during the incident investigation.


What is included in an incident report?

The date and time and the names of all involved should be included on the form. In addition to listing the chronology of events and describing any injuries and property damage, the form should consist of only the essential details of the occurrence.

What is an incident at the workplace?

The fundamental workplace definitions of “incident” and “accident” are as follows: An incident is an unexpected occurrence in the workplace that has not resulted in personal injury but may or may not have resulted in property damage and warrants reporting.

What is a safety incident?

Any unforeseen or unintended circumstance or event that could have or did cause harm to a patient is referred to as a patient safety incident. This includes damage resulting from an illness or its treatment that did not improve or cure the patient’s or the doctor’s expectations.

Preventive actions are the cornerstone of keeping a healthy and secure environment, notwithstanding how difficult it may be to be conditioned for the unexpected. But with a preliminary incident report, you may prevent recurring incidents, and it also serves as the incident response protocol for your firm. You must have a relevant and thorough incident report form available and prepared.