Table 3

Study characteristics

First author (year) (country)DesignSettingSampleInterventionFindings
Wolff (2002) (Australia)22Quasi-experimental (BA)ED (n=1)Reviewed patient medical records (n=20 050)Incident reporting in addition to standardised screening of medical records on AEsReduced AEs*NRNR
Hendrie (2007) (Australia)23Non-experimentalED (n=1)Patient case histories (n=3332)AE screeningNRInter-rater reliabilityTime†
Patterson (2012) (USA)35Non-experimentalEMS (n=NR)Patient case reports (n=250)AE identification and severity rating methodNRInternal reliability; construct validityNR
Patterson (2014) (USA)37Non-experimentalHEMS (n=NR)Expert clinicians in emergency medicine and HEMS (n=10)AE identification and severity rating methodNRContent and face validityNR
Clunas (2009) (Australia)24Non-experimentalED (n=1)Reviewed patient deaths (n=303)Audit of all deaths that occurred within 48 h of ED presentation in addition to auditing all deaths that occurred in the ED itselfNRNRUsability‡
van Noord (2010) (The Netherlands)25Non-experimentalED (n=31)Closed and settled claim files (n=47)Root Cause Analysis using PRISMA methodNRInter-rater reliability; face validityTime†
Patterson (2010) (USA)26Non-experimentalEMS agencies (n=3)EMTs and paramedics (n=71)EMS-SAQNRInternal reliability; construct validityResponse rate‡; user friendliness‡
Patterson (2010) (USA)27Non-experimentalEMS agencies (n=61)Care providers (n=1595)EMS-SAQNRInter-rater reliability; face validityNR
Flowerdew (2012) (UK)38Non-experimentalED (n=2)NRObservational physician (non-technical) skills assessmentNRFace and content validityNR
Jaynes (2013) (USA)39Non-experimentalEMS (n=NR)EMS care providers (n=380)EMS and HEMS working relationship satisfaction questionnaireNRInternal reliability; face, content and construct validityNR
Evans (2007) (Australia)28Quasi experimental (NEG)ED (n=4)ED (n=2) attendances (n=66 669) with intervention vs ED (n=2) attendances (n=78 264) with usual procedureIncident reporting programme comprising intense staff education, 24/7 reporting options, changes in report management and enhanced feedbackIncreased IRs*NRNR
Zwart (2011) (The Netherlands)29Quasi experimental (NEG)GP OHS (n=3)GP OHS with intervention (n=1); GP OHS with usual procedure (n=2)Local incident-reporting vs centralised incident reporting (usual procedure)Increased IRs; increased IR typesNRTime‡; costs†
Reznek (2014) (USA)30Quasi experimental (ITS)ED (n=1)IRs (n=314)Standardised non-punitive peer review of IRsIncreased monthly frequencies of IRs*NRNR
Schull (2011) (Canada)36Non-experimentalED (n=NR)Candidate indicators (n=170)Patient safety indicatorsNRFace validityUsability‡
Pham (2011) (USA)31Non-experimentalED (n=1)Patients seen in the ED within 72 h of prior visit (n=6858) and patients not seen in the ED within 72 h (n=211 321)Patient safety indicatorNRNRUsability†
Jones (2013) (USA)32Non-experimentalED (n=2)Care providers (n=60)Teamwork training on patient safety (TeamSTEPPS)Positive change in safety culture perceptionNRNR
Patterson (2013) (USA)33Quasi experimental (ITS)Paediatric ED (n=1)Care providers (n=151)Multidisciplinary simulation-based trainingIncreased staff safety knowledge*; increased staff safety attitude*NRTime‡
Shaw (2006) (USA)34Non-experimentalPaediatric ED (n=1)Staff (n=99)Unit-based Patient Safety Walk-roundsIncreased IRs; increased hand hygiene complianceNRNR
  • *Statistical significant effect (p<0.05).

  • †Negative finding with regard to the feasibility of the intervention.

  • ‡Positive finding with regard to the feasibility of the intervention.

  • AE, adverse event; BA, before–after; ED, emergency department; EMS, emergency medical services; EMS-SQA, EMS-Safety Attitudes Questionnaire; EMT, emergency medical technician; GP OHS, general practitioner out-of-hours services; HEMS, helicopter EMS; IR, incident report; ITS, interrupted time series; NEG, non-equivalent group; NR, not reported; PRISMA, Prevention and Recovery Information System for Monitoring and Analysis.