3.4a Describe how to recognise adverse events, incidents, errors and near misses

Despite the best efforts of yourself and your colleagues, mistakes and errors can be inevitable. Whether it was due to stress, negligence, lack of knowledge, or something similar, providing the best care is not always possible. There are several terms for various types of mistakes that we will go over below.

Adverse Events: This is either an action or lack of action that leads to unexpected, yet preventable harm.

Errors: Situations where something was not done as it should have been done.

Near Misses: Situations where an action could have harmed the individual but, either by chance or purpose, was prevented.

Incidents: Negative events that need to be investigated as they caused severe harm or damage to an individual, or the organisation.

While avoiding these mistakes can be inevitable, you should do what you can to prevent them and minimise the damage done. In the next section, we will go over what to do in relation to these mistakes.

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