How to Write Incident Reports for Disability Care

How to Write Incident Reports for Disability Care

When writing incident reports for disability care, it’s essential to provide accurate and detailed information about the incident. These documents are a legal record. This information is generally designed to be presented to therapists as a therapy, progress and trigger tracker, and to the NDIS as evidence for support requirements at plan review time.

Incident reports may also be used by your State workplace health and safety body, by the NDIS commission, or by insurance companies if an incident leads to injury, death or litigation.

Here are the steps to follow when creating an incident report:

1. Include essential information 

  • Date and time of the incident.
  • Location where the incident occurred.
  • Name and contact details of all individuals involved (caregivers, support workers, witnesses).

2. Provide a clear description of the incident

  • Describe the sequence of events in chronological order.
  • Include specific details such as the actions or events that led to the incident.
  • Provide a concise summary of what happened, using clear and objective language.
  • Avoid making assumptions or judgements.

3. Describe the nature of the incident

  • Describe the type of incident (e.g. fall, medication error, behavioural incident)
  • Provide details about any injuries sustained or potential risks involved
  • If applicable, note any property damage or equipment damaged.

5. Document the response and actions taken

  • Describe the immediate actions taken to address the situation and ensure the safety of all parties.
  • Outline any first aid or medical assistance provided.
  • Include any details about communications with emergency services, family members or healthcare professionals.

6. Provide witness statements

  • If the incident is a reportable incident as determined by the NDIS Reportable Incidents Guide, include witness statements and observations regarding the incident.

7. Follow up by analysing and assessing the incident

  • Provide an objective analysis of the incident, focusing on identifying the underlying causes or contributing factors.
  • Highlight any lessons learned and opportunities for improvement in care practices or procedures.

8. Outline preventative and corrective actions

  • Suggest recommendations or strategies to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.
  • This may include additional training, changes in care plans, or modifications to the environment.

9. Review and sign

  • Ensure the report is reviewed for accuracy and completeness.
  • Sign and date the report, indicating your role and position within the organisation.

10. Report the incident

  • The Workplace Health & Safety Act 2011 has a reportable incidents list for workers. Do your research.
  • The NDIS also have a Reportable Incidents Guide.
  • If you are working for an organisation, they also will have a guide to reporting incidents.
  • Each of these bodies have specific timeframes for reporting incidents, so it’s important to know which apply to you.

Remember, a comprehensive incident report is a legal record that should provide an objective and true account of the incident, ensuring that all relevant details are documented, action taken to prevent future recurrences, and the appropriate stakeholders are informed.

Consider downloading our comprehensive Incident Report for disability supports for $5.99, which includes a list of common and uncommon incidents that can be reported, and the free NDIS Reportable Incidents Guide.

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