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Anaesth Intensive Care. 2003 Oct;31(5):555-9.

Incident reporting in anaesthesia: a survey of practice in New Zealand.

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Department of Anaesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, North Shore Hospital, Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand.


A postal survey of anaesthetists practising in New Zealand assessed their practice and attitudes to anaesthetic incident reporting. 136 replies were received (57% response rate). Respondents indicated a high awareness of the Anaesthetic Incident Monitoring Study (AIMS) based incident monitoring yet individual utilization may be declining due to a perception that this system is ineffective. Seventy-five per cent of respondents used AIMS forms in their current institute, whilst 87% had at some time completed an AIMS form. Two-thirds of respondents used the forms for morbidity and mortality audit activities. Support for the continuing practice of incident reporting was high, yet opinion suggested that the present system was not being used productively. Almost half the anaesthetists felt that the AIMS reporting system had changed their practice. Common concerns with the system included a need to simplify the reporting process and to ensure that information is managed to provide a useful outcome. This study suggests that incident reporting in its present form needs to be re-evaluated in light of changing priorities in anaesthesia quality improvement activities.

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