Safety Learning System
SA Health is committed to improving the safety and quality of patient care and achieving the best patient outcomes possible.
What is the Safety Learning System (SLS)?
The Safety Learning System is an application that enables all SA Health services to record, manage, investigate and analyse patient and worker incidents as well as consumer feedback.It is also used for capturing information about security services and to record formal notifications such as those for coronial matters or medical malpractice.
The purpose of each of the SLS modules, and which legislation they refer to, is described in the table of Key SLS Modules.
Any staff member with an SA Health HAD login can record an incident into SLS.
Skip to sections of information using the corresponding links below:
- Benefits of SLS for the consumer and SA Health services
- Using SLS
- Patient incidents in SLS
- Work Health Safety incidents in SLS
- Security incidents in SLS
- Consumer feedback in SLS
- Notifications in SLS
- Risk management in SLS
- SLS assistance
- Changes or enhancements to SLS
- Updates and outages
- SA Health Safety and Quality Unit
Benefits of SLS for the consumer and SA Health services includes:
- It facilitates good clinical governance by providing a single system across SA Health that manages incidents, consumer feedback and notifications.
- SLS has helped embed a culture of safety and quality into the daily routines of most SA Health workers as the findings of the review or investigation of events in SLS provides a means by which valuable lessons can be learnt and quality improvements identified.
- The system is used to review trends in reported events and identify specific areas for improvement at both a state-wide and Local Health Network level (LHN).
- When combined with information from other systems in the LHN Analytics and Reporting Service (LARS), SLS allows all staff to see how SA Health and their health unit compare against the 10 National Safety and Quality Service Standards (in addition to various state key performance indicators).
- It helps to inform workers and the public by facilitating the annual publication of the South Australian Patient Safety Report. This report also contains an overview of some of the quality improvement initiatives that have been implemented, some being the result of trends that have been identified from SLS data.
- From the introduction of SLS in 2010 we can see an improvement in the reporting of incidents into the system from 32,696 reported for 2011/2012 compared with 53646 reported for 2014/2015. More importantly, we can see an overall reduction in incidents with harm which are down 42% from 2011/2012. This means that since its inception we are now capturing more hazards and near misses which provide us with the information to prevent those from reoccurring or becoming more serious.
Staff use SLS in a variety of ways depending on their role and responsibilities. There are guides and training to assist users who:
- are recording an incident or near miss into SLS (notifiers)
- have responsibility for review of reported incidents (managers or supervisors will need user/login access)
- have responsibility to create reports and use them for quality improvement and monitoring trends.
Some SLS data is also presented on LHN Analytics and Reporting Service.
SLS has a number of modules for different purposes and types of incidents. Each has information and resources to assist users.
Everyone providing services on behalf of SA Health must record all patient related incidents, including near misses, into SLS. All incidents reported into SLS are reviewed and serious incidents undergo more detailed investigation.
Incident management and review is a requirement under SA Health policy (PDF 1.9MB) and the National Safety and Quality Heath Service Standards.
Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about reporting patient incidents (PDF 103KB) are available.
Further information is available on the Patient incidents in Safety Learning System page.
Work Health and Safety (WHS) reporting into SLS ensures a standardised process to comply with legal requirements and to provide data to support future hazard control and WHS prevention programs.
Information in WHS incident reports on SLS is governed by the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA)
All workers are encouraged to report Work Health and Safety incidents including:
- hazards, such as equipment faults, environmental factors
- Incidents with no harm
- Incidents with injury or harm, including bodily injury or mental stress
Further information is available on the Work Health and Safety incidents in Safety Learning System page.
A security incident is any event or circumstance that resulted in a request for emergency or non-emergency security attendance. These include when any of the Emergency Codes are called.
The reporting and review of both emergency and non-emergency security incidents to SLS will contribute to improving safety for patients, workers and visitors.
There are legislative and other requirements to keep records of when these incidents occur.
Further information is available on the Security incidents in Safety Learning System page.
Consumer feedback is recorded in SLS to drive improvement in the quality of health care services provided and enable the identification of trends and risk. It also enables health services to ensure that they are responding in a timely manner to the concerns of the consumers.
There is requirement under Consumer Feedback Management Policy Directive (PDF 143KB) and the National Safety and Quality Heath Service Standards to record consumer feedback.
The Notifications module provides a mechanism for nominated SA Health managers to record details about notifiable incidents. These include deaths (under requirements of the Coroners Act 2003), potential medical malpractice and alleged sexual assault or misconduct incidents.
Coroners and Medical Malpractice notifications are reviewed by SA Health's Legal Governance and Insurance Services Unit (ISU) and referred on to SAICORP as required.
These notifications do not include those required by SafeWork or Public Health notifications.
This new module is under development. It will provide an enterprise wide, integrated risk management solution to support the Risk Management Policy (PDF 396KB) and Framework.
The added ability for the SLS to link incidents and complaints to risks will increase opportunities to identify areas of improvement that can enhance the safety and quality of services provided. This ability will also support the Transforming Health agenda by enabling a robust safety, quality and risk management framework.
These will contribute significantly to the maturity of the risk management culture within the organisation and transform the risk management practices across the Health System.
Finding SLS on your computer
To find SLS on your SA Health computer, click Start > All Programs > Corporate programs > SAH Applications > Safety Learning System
Recording an incident
Any staff member with an SA Health HAD login can record an incident into SLS. Undergraduates/students are encouraged to learn how to record incidents into SLS, but the Clinical supervisor must be entered under ‘Other people involved’ as the ‘Reporter of the incident’.
For a list of recent and upcoming SLS updates and outages, see the Safety Learning System Notices page.
Where to get help
All queries should be directed in the first instance to the relevant SLS local site administrator in the following:
- patient incidents (PDF 239KB) - Safety and Quality/Clinical Governance Unit
- worker incidents - WHS Risk management.
Contact details for these staff can be found on the relevant SLS web page.
Common types of queries include:
- requests for login access for managers (PDF 164KB).
- requests for changes or enhancements to SLS (PDF 29KB)
If you have any recommendations for changes to SLS, please complete all sections of the Change Request Form (PDF 29KB) and send to local Safety and Quality Manager. Prior to submitting the form, local consultation with all potential affected users of the requested change must occur. Affected users include administrators of other SLS modules, WHS managers, committees and Safety and Quality governance.
A separate WHS Change Request form located on the Work Health and Safety incidents in Safety Learning System page.
David Robinson / Cameron Hussey
Information Officers, SLS Management Team
Telephone: (08) 8226 6177 / 8226 9601