The Australian incident monitoring study in intensive care: AIMS-ICU. An analysis of the first year of reporting

U. Beckmann, I. Baldwin, G. K. Hart, W. B. Runciman

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101 Citations (Scopus)


The AIMS-ICU project is a national study set up to develop, introduce and evaluate an anonymous voluntary incident reporting system for intensive care. ICU staff members reported events which could have reduced or did reduce, the safety margin for the patient. Seven ICUs contributed 536 reports, which identified 610 incidents involving the airway (20%), procedures (23%), drugs (28%), patient environment (21%), and ICU management (9%). Incidents were detected most frequently by rechecking the patient or the equipment, or by prior experience. No ill effects or only minor ones were experienced by most patients (short-term 76%, long-term 92%) as a result of the incident. Multiple contributing factors were identified, 33% system-based and 66% human factor-based. Incident monitoring promises to be a useful technique for improving patient safety in the ICU, when sufficient data have been collected to allow analysis of sets of incidents in defined 'clinical situations'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-329
Number of pages10
JournalAnaesthesia and Intensive Care
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Jun 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Intensive care: incident monitoring, quality assurance, patient safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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