VetSafe: what is it and how do I use it?

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Even highly trained and motivated professionals sometimes make mistakes and veterinary practice doesn’t always go to plan. VetSafe is the Veterinary Defence Society’s web based confidential significant event reporting and risk management system – a members-only veterinary patient safety resource. It has been designed to help protect patients, clients and clinicians from professional errors. The VetSafe system can help clinicians learn from their mistakes, it is not a tool for blame, judgement or discipline. The system has three aims: to gather data on mistakes in practice that cause patient harm and near misses; to help clinicians understand why errors occur; to help clinicians learn from errors and prevent their recurrence. Making a report is quick and easy – there are no paper forms to fill in, you can report on the website or the VetSafe App. Practices have access to their reports, to help them assess and improve their systems and compare their results to the larger data set. These reports can also be used to enable significant event reviews and discussion at mortality and morbidity meetings to inform local risk management and enable organisational reflective learning.

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