Using VDS VetSafe

Part of my role at work is to maintain the critical incident log and also coordinate Morbidity and Mortality rounds. Now in a place as large as where I work it can be really tricky to know about every near miss or incident that happens. Typically, these things happen in a busy time and often it can be difficult to ensure these things are reported and logged. Corridor conversations occur and notes are scribbled down on post its. VDS VetSafe is a new development that is set to change this.

VDS VetSafe: Online is the way forward

Because of my role I was super excited when the VDS announced the launch of their new reporting system, VetSafe. I know it seems a bit sad to be excited about an online reporting system but hey anything that can help! I work in a large practice and communication can be tricky. Especially when I work 3 days a week and incidents can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Incident reporting systems (IRS) are widely accepted to improve patient safety. A culture that analyses mistakes and seeks to make improvements can surely be a positive thing?

VDS VetSafe: Essentials before you start

You’ll need a few essential items before you can get going, firstly your VDS membership number. If you work for a practice, you’ll be registered so you just need to ask them for your number. You’ll also need the practices VDS number. Using both of those you log into the VDS site and then click on the link for the VetSafe, another few steps and then you’ll be registered. After that it’s all pretty simple. You simply select ‘report an incident’ and then follow the steps. I found it really easy to use and actually got the staff members involved to help complete the form. Sometimes just talking through the process will highlight where the error occurred.

VDS VetSafe: who reports?

The size of your practice will depend who has this task. It may be that everyone is involved in the reporting of incidents or you may assign the responsibility to certain staff members. You’ll have superusers that will be able to look at all the reports but other than them no one else in the practice can see the reports. Interestingly though everyone can see national data which is actually quite interesting.

The best bit for me though (yep I truly do get that excited) is the fact that you can go back and review reports. Adding actions and steps to improve future practice. This enables me to easily track and record any new protocols or steps. I think it’s really important to understand it’s not a question of blame. It’s not a tool to make people feel bad but simply one to log and track. Which helps us understand where and why errors can occur. VDS VetSafe is great way to get everyone reporting and doing it in timely manner. Hopefully it’ll encourage a no blame culture and empower staff members to log any mistake, big or small.

It’s so important to remember we are all humans and mistakes will happen, it’s what we learn from them that matters.

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