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Notifications in Safety Learning System

The Notifications Module within Safety Learning System (SLS) provides a mechanism for nominated SA Health managers to record certain categories of notifiable incidents. 

The Notifications Module is made up of sections for recording the following:

  • any death that is reportable to the State Coroner
  • possible medical malpractice
  • alleged sexual assault or sexual misconduct.

For more information on the Notification Module in SLS see the following: 

This module is not used for other notification types, such as those required by:

  • the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist
  • SafeWorkSA
  • Public Health notifications.

Nominated LHN managers

Each Local Health Network will nominate senior staff who have the responsibility to record notifiable incidents SLS and securely store documents relating to the investigation of incidents..

Requests for login access to any of notification sections within the Notifications Module of SLS must be approved by the relevant Department for Health and Ageing (DHA) or Local Health Network (LHN) Director of Safety and Quality and CEO.

Once the approval has been received, login access can be arranged by the DHA SLS team and you will be notified.

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Coronial notification section

The Coroners Act 2003 requires that a person immediately after becoming aware of a death that is, or may be, a reportable death notify the State Coroner or SA Police. Usually a police officer or doctor will directly notify the State Coroner.

Coroners notifications recorded in SLS are routinely reviewed to ensure that all requirements are being met, and for quality assurance and learning. Reviews are done by:

  • the Legal Governance and Insurance Services Unit (ISU) of SA Health
  • SA Health Clinical Review Committee that is chaired by the Director Safety and Quality Unit.

See the Coronial process and Coroners Act 2003 page for further information about the reporting process, including the SA Health Policy Directive and Guideline.

Categories of deaths that must be reported to the State Coroner

A death must be reported to the State Coroner where it has occurred:

  • unexpectedly, unusually or by a violent, unnatural or unknown cause
  • on a flight or voyage to South Australia
  • while in custody
  • during, as a result or within 24 hours of certain surgical or invasive medical procedures, including the giving of an anaesthetic for the purpose of performing the procedure
  • within 24 hours of being discharged from a hospital or having sought emergency treatment at a hospital
  • while the deceased was a ‘protected’ person
  • while the deceased was under a custody or guardianship order under the Children’s Protection Act 1993
  • while the deceased was a patient in an approved treatment centre under the Mental Health Act 2009
  • while the deceased was a resident of a licensed supported residential facility under the Supported Residential Facilities Act 1992
  • while the deceased was in a hospital or other facility being treated for drug addiction
  • during, as a result or within 24 hours of medical treatment to which consent had been given under Part 5 of the Guardianship and Administration Act 1993
  • when a cause of death was not certified by a doctor.

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Medical malpractice and professional indemnity section

All incidents where there is potential or risk of future litigation for possible medical malpractice should be reported into SLS. 

The incident reports are forwarded to the following areas for review: 

  • SAICORP - determines the future management of the incident, if necessary, they will instruct the Crown Solicitor to act for a health care facility.
  • SA Health's Legal Governance and Insurance Services - works in conjunction with SAICORP.
  • SA Health Clinical Review Committee - ensures the required processes are being following, quality control and ways we can learn from the incident.

Useful guidance, including types of incidents to notify is available in Guidelines for the Department of Health and Ageing Professional Indemnity (Medical Malpractice) Program (PDF 415KB).

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Alleged sexual assault and sexual misconduct section

Any staff member who suspects, observes, is told of or made aware of an incident is encouraged to tell a senior staff member. See the fact sheet for all staff (PDF 62KB) for more information. 

Incidents of suspected or alleged sexual assault/misconduct by an adult within SA Health facilities and services are recorded within SLS. 

The Policy Directive (PDF 294KB) around alleged sexual assault and sexual misconduct was revised. To assist staff, the 2015 policy revision fact sheet (PDF 58KB) describes the principal changes, what tools have been developed and the new incident classification.  

Nominated senior managers have specific roles in the management after such incidents. The following resources will assist in carrying out their role:

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SLS Management team, SA Health Safety and Quality Unit

Michele Sutherland, SLS Manager
Telephone: (08) 8226 9599

David Robinson, Information Officer
Telephone: (08) 8226 6177

Cameron Hussey, Information Officer
Telephone: (08) 8226 9601

Email: Safetylearningsystem@sa.gov.au

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