August/September 2022 (vol. 19/2)

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Incidents and accidents: Part 2

Part 2: lessons from healthcare


Healthcare has a long history of incident reporting and learning from the past to improve patient safety. In the second of a two-part article, Victoria Murphy, Sharon Davidson, Peter Hibbert and Peggy Edwards explore best practices from healthcare and highlight lessons for other sectors.

Learning from incidents (LFI) is the process by which important lessons are learned from previous accidents, incidents and near misses. It plays a vital role in developing safe systems and working practices in safety-critical sectors. In the first article of this two-part series, best practices were explored from the energy sector when learning from incidents. However, one advantage that the energy sector and many other high-risk industries tend to have over other sectors is predictability. Unexpected events may occur in energy companies, but in most cases, at the start of their day a worker knows roughly what they will be doing and the potential issues that might ariseā€¦

Dr Victoria L Murphy is a consultant who works with companies to maximise learning from workplace incidents. She also works as an associate lecturer at the Open University, teaching courses on educational psychology and managing organisational uncertainty.

Sharon Davidson is an associate lecturer with the Open University Business School. She has previously worked as an associate director of patient safety with the National Patient Safety Agency in the UK, managing the National Research and Learning system and Directorate.

Peter D Hibbert is a researcher in patient safety and evidence-based care at Macquarie University, Sydney, and the University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia.

Peggy Edwards is a chief nursing information officer and clinical safety officer at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board in Gwent, Wales.


Author: Murphy V, Davidson S, Hibbert P, Edwards P


Occupational Health at Work August/September 2022 (vol. 19/2) pp33-36

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