incident report

  1. Hello all,

    Well I got my first incident report written against me. I first got scared when I heard about it then I did my homework.
    The report was filed because I was accused of signing off orders on the chart that were not entered into the computer to process by the lab department. They were telephone orders from a new consult on the case. He was very rude on the phone while giving me his orders. At the same time I kept my composure and asked him if it was ok with him that I repeat the orders back to him. He said yes so I did. As soon as I hung up from him, I wrote the orders and entered them into the computer. 2-days later he shows up in the hospital and was furious as to why the orders that he made were not done. My co-workers were told by my boss to try to look up the orders in the computer and they supposedly couldn't locate them. My boss then ordered them to put an incident report against me without even talking to me first about it. This was done while I was out and I didn't hear about it until I got back to work from the nurse who filed the incident report. I went back into the computer system and found the labs. I also found out that they were cancelled by the lab department and that's why there weren't processed. The date and time that they were entered into the computer show my time and shift which means I did my work and signed off orders that were completely entered into the computer. Obviously my co-workers aren't computer savvy. I wrote my boss a letter about all of this and I included a copy of the entered labs which shows clearly that they were cancelled by the lab department. I requested that the report to be corrected to who is the one at fault and it shouldn't be me.

    I would like to hear from you about what an incident report means to my career/license/future? What else do I need to do to protect myself and my license? Any other recommendations of things I should do now to protect myself?

    All input is welcomed and thanks in advance for your help.
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    About AllAngelsRN, BSN, RN

    Joined: Feb '07; Posts: 78; Likes: 19


  3. by   nursel56
    All I can offer is this-- make sure your letter to your boss with the correct documentation are included with the incident report. Your boss sounds really unprofessional to me. If your boss is a nurse, shouldn't they know how to retrieve computer records themselves instead of tasking your co-workers who weren't caring for this patient? :uhoh21: . . .and directing them to write up an incident report on you?

    That's ridiculous. Especially since even though apparently it was a group project, they couldn't figure it out anyway. One question, though. How is it that the "lab can cancel" an order without informing the floor or (judging by his freak-out) the doctor who orders the labs? I can see why he would be upset, but it appears to be a systemic problem.

    Don't think you need to worry about your license. It doesn't sound like you did anything wrong, but review of policies and procedures seems in order. You'll be fine.

    PS. Way to go on not letting the jerk rattle you and insisting he listen to your repeat orders.
  4. by   RNmb
    From the sounds of it, this would have essentially happened the same way on my unit. Lab does cancel ordered labs without informing the floor or the MD, most of the time because they were duplicate orders (ex: a CMP ordered after a BMP, so the BMP would be cancelled). To be honest, I do not know our policy on lab cancelling other orders and thats something I will look into. Our incident reports are called "Patient Safety Alerts." When a situation arises where the nurse or charge nurse feels a PSA should be written, the responsibility does fall on the person who found the error to submit the report. They sdefinitely hould look at the situation from every angle before writing the PSA, but it sounds like even though your coworkers did that, they were unable to find what should have probably been easy enough to figure out. After the PSA is submitted, our manager usually will look into it herself and if need be, discuss what happened with that person in private. As long as the situation is resolved, the only people who see the PSA are the person submitting it, person it involves and our manager. That way, in a situation like yours, it is easily taken care of and it does not affect or involve anyone that it shouldn't. We treat them more as learning experiences and use them to identify areas of improvement for the unit as a whole. I hope this helps!
  5. by   BluegrassRN
    Incident reports at our facility sound very similar to the incident reports described by RNmb. While they can be used against you if a pattern of unsafe behavior is established, for us, they are used to help understand why something happened. They address communication, system or technical errors, education/training deficits, and other issues that need to be addressed. It's a means to track problems, look at issues from all areas, and learn how to avoid such issues in the future.

    I've had several incident reports written about me. Every time we have a fall, and incident report is written. Once I miss programmed a PCA pump and delivered 10x the amount of drug to a pt. I caught it at the follow up check; but initially neither I nor the second, verifying RN discovered it. I was one of several nurses who had this issue, and our tech and risk management departments decided it was a programming flaw within the pumps, and recommended we replace them with another design. It led to the purchase of brand new pumps from another company.

    Another example: after several incident reports regarding new nurses not following protocols, our floor decided to do an ongoing education with the new nurses, for their first year of employment. Once a month they attend a 4 hour class that reviews what do to in certain situations (chest pain, code blue, hypoglycemia, etc). It is to supplement and reinforce their orientation, and to improve their practice. While they all hate coming to a class, they all also report that it does help them, and incident reports have dropped. It's helped so much that we *all* might have to start attending some sort of on-going orientation on protocols!

    I have never felt in fear of my job following an incident report. I have never had one waved in front of my face in a threatening manner. I *have* had our director/assistant director give me the print out and ask me to tell them what happened, why I think it happened, and how I would recommend avoiding the incident in the future. In our hospital, on our floor, it is a genuine process, with the intent to discover problems and improve practice.
  6. by   Indy
    It simply means someone made a mistake somewhere and it needs to be explained how and why, and what the end result was, and who was notified.

    In your case the lab canceled orders and the investigation needs to be directed to why they did, and how they can do so without the nurse being made aware of it, and maybe the nurse will catch it on a shift chart check. We had an issue at my ICU job for a while where the lab wasn't doing anything unless it was marked stat and the computer was randomly cancelling any order it pleased. Believe me, there was enough heck raised by the floor, ICU and the ER that it took less than a week to fix. In the meantime shift handoff had to include the info that you needed to call the lab and tell them what labs you just put in the computer. It was a headache and a half.

    So just make sure when you end up your shift in the meantime, that you double check to make sure lab didn't cancel your stuff. If you notice a trend then write it up and raise some heck of your own.
  7. by   CathyLew
    It sounds like what you did, and how you followed it up were both in the right. Got a question, is this a new computer system to your facility? Is there a policy about LAB canceling orders?

    we do a lot of incident reports just to prove our computer system is not the right one for our hospital. So it may be that the incident report is even being generated for a reason you don't even know. I know when we are trying to prove unsafe staffing, the incident reports bump way up.

    There are many steps to an incident report. The follow up is one of the big ones. And you gave proof that you did no wrong--and there will always be an audit trail of that in your comptuer system.