Many hospitals continue to use incident reporting systems (IRSs) as their primary patient safety data source. The information IRSs collect on the frequency of harm to patients [adverse events (AEs)] is generally of poor quality, and some incident types (e.g. diagnostic errors) are under-reported. Other methods of collecting patient safety information using medical record review, such as the Global Trigger Tool (GTT), have been developed. The aim of this study was to undertake a systematic review to empirically quantify the gap between the percentage of AEs detected using the GTT to those that are also detected via IRSs.
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