NPSA issues guidance to primary care teams on ‘Significant Event Audit’

The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) has issued guidance for primary care teams on Significant Event Audit (SEA).

SEA is defined as “A process in which individual episodes (when there has been a significant occurrence either beneficial or deleterious) are analysed in a systematic and detailed way to ascertain what can be learnt about the overall quality of care, and to indicate any changes that might lead to future improvements.”

SEA is, essentially, simply another term for ‘Root Cause Anlysis’. The use of the word audit is a misnomer since no audit activity takes place in an SEA – only investigation and analysis.

Notwithstanding these comments, Healthcare Governance Reviewbelieves that any attempt by the NPSA to help organisations and individuals improve the safety and quality of care is extremely welcome.

Download the guidance on Significant Event Audit here.

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