Incident reports: A safety tool
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Nurses tend to cringe when they think about completing an incident report. Reasons for this reaction include the distress that occurs when something untoward has happened, anticipated loss of precious time to complete the report (particularly if the organization’s reporting system is cumbersome), and fear of being blamed for the incident or becoming embroiled in a court case. In this situation, it’s easy to forget that incident reports are a valuable resource for keeping patients safe. They also can keep employees safe by identifying system-wide problems such as insufficient staffing or equipment to move patients, which often contributes to staff injuries.