Purpose of Incident Reporting

June 16, 2011

There are a multitude of purposes for incident reporting, including quality improvement, event documentation and liability monitoring.  Many organizations have found that incident reports can be a positive management tool and encouraging employees to complete a report provides management with some vital information.  Reporting events when things do not go as planned gives management the information needed to improve the quality of services and perhaps limit the possibility of a repeat occurrence.

Every organization should define the purpose of their incident reporting system.  The purpose of incident reporting can include, but need not be limited to:

  • Improving the management of animal care and treatment by assuring that appropriate and immediate intervention occurs and corrective measures are implemented to prevent reoccurrences.
  • Providing a factual record of the event by the employee or volunteer who was a witness to or had first hand information of the incident.
  • To provide a database for the organization’s Quality Assurance/Performance Improvement activities so that care and services can be evaluated and changes can be made to improve quality.
  • To alert Risk Management/Administration of an occurrence that could result in a claim, so that loss control measures can be implemented.

It is important for staff to understand that reporting and incident does not make it a claim.  However, a potential claim will not disappear merely because it was not reported.

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